Celtics vice president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Saturday he would not comment on the departure of Ray Allen to the Miami Heat until the league’s moratorium on signing free agents ends July 11. That doesn’t mean he isn’t hard at work trying to replace Allen with another shooting guard.
“Obviously we need to fill the void, we need another shooting guard, of course,” he said. “There are a lot of good players left. We’re limited to what we can do with the biannual exception we need to wait and see.”
Because the Celtics are over the salary cap, they cannot just shift the $6 million per season offered to Ray Allen to another player. The Celtics do have their biannual exception — which begins at $1.95 million per season — to offer a free agent.
Ainge said the team has been in contact with representatives of Mickael Pietrus, who had been somewhat of an afterthought.
“We have been in contact with the whole list of guys you would look at,” Ainge said. “I don’t want to mention names but we have been in contact with them. We’ll continue to find the best player we can.”
While the Celtics will lose the consummate professional in Allen, Ainge said the team will move forward.
“We’ve added a couple of great professionals in Jeff Green and Jason Terry and we drafted three guys that I think are very professional and add to the locker room,” Ainge said. “Talent is a hard thing to find but we put a great deal of value into what goes on in the locker room also.”
Ainge said he would not comment on an apparent Allen rift with Rajon Rondo.
Meanwhile, at the Celtics summer league practice at Rollins College, there was a rather stunned reaction.
“I was shocked, I see Ray as a Celtic,” summer league head coach and Celtics assistant Tyronn Lue said. “In this business you have to do what’s best for you and I guess he thought Miami was best for him. I just wish him well. But seeing him change uniforms is pretty big, seeing him around here so long.”