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Danny Ainge Wants, But Doesn't Need Pierce Back

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.