Celtics team president Danny Ainge, in his weekly interview on WEEI's The Big Show, addressed the Yahoo! Sports report that a deal was in place sending Ray Allen to the Grizzlies for O.J. Mayo and a draft pick, saying while discussions occurred, Allen was never told he had been traded as the report suggests.
"Lets put it this way," Ainge said, "the one thing I will say is Ray knew he might be traded, but never did I confirm that he had been traded."
The report also stated Doc Rivers had a conversation informing Allen that he was dealt to Memphis, and then 20 minutes later told the deal had fallen apart. However, just as Rivers said on Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning, Ainge denied any conversation telling Allen he was traded happening.
"I don't think it ever got to a point where Doc was going to talk to him," Ainge said. "Doc did not talk to him. That's what he told us all today."
Ainge said he was candid with his players during the trade deadline. He said he tried his best to keep an open dialogue with the Big Three about possible trade discussions, but ultimately operated with the interests of the Celtics organization as his top priority.
"We have treated Ray with amazing respect," he said. "I talked with all three of the Big Three. They knew I was in conversations with teams. They knew the possibility would exist if a deal came along that we liked, which would help speed up the rebuilding process. They knew all of that. They also knew something might not happen.
"I respect those guys, but I have to do what is best for the Celtics. You can't do both. You can do what is best for the Celtics, and you can still respect the people you work with."
Avery Bradley's promotion to the starting lineup caused Allen to be relegated to coming off the bench following his return from an ankle injury. The adjustment to his new role, coupled with the trade reports surfacing this week, has made for an interesting transition for the future Hall of Famer. Ainge insisted that Allen being fresh for the fourth quarter of games and improving the second unit is something Allen understands, and any report to the contrary should be regarded as hearsay.
“We look at [Allen coming off the bench] as a great improvement of our team,” he said. “And we don't look at Ray any differently, but it's just perceived as that. I think Ray logically understands it, and he gets it. He sees the benefit and value of it -- for himself and the team.
"There is so much false that is related to a little bit of truth," Ainge continued. "So you have a little bit of truth, and a whole bunch of made up sensationalism that is going on out there."
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