Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has been hard at work recently trying to keep Paul Pierce with the Celtics. Though he didn’t manage to wrap up the perennial All-Star, Ainge remains confident that both parties want to see Pierce back in green come October:
“We were negotiating an extension in good faith,’’ said Ainge. “He’s worked hard to become a free agent, but I still think that in his heart of hearts he still wants to stay in Boston.
“It’s all a negotiation,’’ he said. “Risk is involved in all of these things. But I’m telling him that we would like him to come back and make another run at a title.’’
Still, Ainge has made it clear that Pierce is not the team’s only option, and that they won’t make any move that’s not in the best interest of the Celtics:
“There’s too many other things that factor in right now,’’ said Ainge. “Who else can we get? But it’s not all dependent on getting Paul back. I don’t think it all rests on his shoulders.’’
Pierce has been the face of the Celtics for the last decade, but with Rajon Rondo becoming the new nucleus of the team, a long and expensive deal for Pierce could be too much of a commitment for a team torn between taking a final shot at another title, and building for the future.