Danny Ainge: No decision made on Pierce, going to be a 'very hard decision'

CSNNE.com caught up with Danny Ainge, and the C's boss made it very clear that no decision on Paul Pierce has been made. The Celtics have until June 30th to either pay their captain a $5 million buyout, or pick up his $15.3 million option.

Here's what Ainge told CSNNE.com.

"Nothing surprises me," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "I'll just let speculation continue."


"What's important to understand, yeah, it's going to be hard for fans and everybody else, but as far as what's doing what's best for the Celtics, it's probably going to be very hard, too," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "It's not a no-brainer. It's not like you get a 21-year-old All-Star player, or you get the number one pick in the draft [if you let Pierce go]. Those decisions would not be hard, but I have a feeling the decision is going to be very hard, yeah."

CSNNE's Rich Levine talked to a Celtics source last week that basically echoed what Ainge is saying, and to be honest it's the only option that makes sense.

Why in the world would the C's make a decision, especially such an important, emotion filled decision, without waiting until June 30th and seeing how other important roster decisions go? By that point Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers will likely have a decision on whether they plan on returning, and the June 27th draft will have also passed. Aren't those huge factors in deciding whether or not the Celtics should keep Pierce around?

For Celtics fans, get ready for one of the longest months of your life as a fan. The speculation about Pierce, Garnett, Rivers and the draft will be extremely difficult to sort through and decipher, as much of it will undoubtedly be untrue. For those that hate the trade deadline rumors — this will probably far surpass it, especially as we move into June.

Speaking of Garnett, Blakely also talked a bit about KG, and one source said that it's his health, not Pierce's situation that will carry the most weight into his decision.

After the Celtics' season-ending loss to the Knicks earlier this month, Garnett alluded to his return being somewhat tied into what the Celtics decide to do with Pierce.

"One of the big reasons I came here was because of Paul," Garnett said after the C's 88-80 defeat in Game 6 with New York. "I'll be honest, I'll be lying to you if I said Paul didn't play into that."

A league source told CSNNE.com that the biggest factor in Garnett's return will be his health, and whether the perennial All-Star feels he can still compete at a level he is accustomed to.

"If his body isn't where he wants it to be, Paul's return is a moot point of discussion," the source said.

Ainge said he has not spoken with Garnett or his representatives about the future Hall of Famer's future..

Keep in mind that Garnett was reportedly dealing with bone spurs at the end of the season, and did not have surgery after the season ended. It's entirely possible that KG has simply decided to see if the ankles improve enough without the surgery to return next season. If that's the case, I wouldn't expect an answer out of him for at least another couple of weeks.

In other words, if you dig speculation and indecision, sit back and enjoy the ride over the next few weeks, because it appears we're in line for a whole bunch of it.


Don't believe the "Paul Pierce's contract is about to be bought out" rumors

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