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Ainge confirms Garnett’s return, hopes to re-sign Allen

Celtics president Danny Ainge said re-signing Ray Allen is a priority for the team. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Celtics president Danny Ainge said re-signing Ray Allen is a priority for the team.
By Gary Washburn
Globe Staff / July 2, 2012
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After a day of silence, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed Sunday morning that Kevin Garnett would return to the team with a contract extension.

“The deal is not done, but Kevin will return, yes,’’ Ainge said. “I’m certain Kevin will return. It eliminates a lot of contingency plans.”

Also, Ainge said he was on the phone with Ray Allen’s representatives after midnight Saturday and wants the shooting guard to return.

“We want Ray back in the worst way,” Ainge said. “I think Ray knows we’re interested in him. I don’t know, but he very well could [have suitors]. But we really want Ray back.”

Ainge said he believes because the Celtics were able to negotiate with Garnett before the July 1 deadline, and not Allen, it may have given the impression the team was not interested in Allen, which was not the case.

The Grizzlies and Heat are among the teams expected to pursue Allen. A source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that the Celtics are willing to give Allen a deal worth $12 million for two years. The most Miami can offer Allen is a one-year contract for $3 million.

Ainge said during surgery to remove bone spurs from Allen’s right ankle it was discovered there were more spurs than initially thought.

“It was amazing that Ray was even able to play at all throughout the playoffs,” Ainge said. “We feel like he will fully recover shortly. I think he’ll be playing basketball within the next few weeks.”

The Celtics have contacted the representatives of shooting guard Jamal Crawford and O.J. Mayo, perhaps as a contingency plan for Allen. Crawford is interested in the Celtics. Mayo, an unrestricted free agent, was nearly acquired by Boston in February. Also, the Celtics reached out to the agent for power forward Brandon Bass.

Restricted free agent Greg Stiemsma will visit the Timberwolves Monday.

Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @gwashNBAGlobe.

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