|Boston obtains Ray Allen for Jeff Green plus two|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 28 June 2007 18:26|
They also made Paul Pierce one very happy aging star.
Danny Ainge pulled off a major deal that he thought was unlikely just an hour before Thursday night's NBA draft began. He obtained Allen and the 35th pick from Seattle for guards Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak and forward Jeff Green of Georgetown, whom the Celtics drafted with the fifth pick.
With scorers such as Pierce and Allen opening up the floor for Al Jefferson, who turned into an inside force in his third season, and speedy point guard Rajon Rondo, the Celtics should give defenses trouble.
``They have no excuses, this team out there,'' said Ainge, the executive director of basketball operations.
With their own second-round pick, the 32nd, the Celtics chose guard Gabe Pruitt of Southern California, who averaged 13.8 points in three college seasons. With the 35th, they took 289-pound Glen Davis, a forward from Louisiana State whose play declined last season but who still averaged 17.9 points and fills Boston's need for a big man.
Boston was 24-58 last season and has won just three playoff series during Pierce's nine years with the team.
The trade for Allen should quiet Pierce's comments, voiced several times, about being dissatisfied with the youth movement that could keep Boston from contending during his career.
Ainge said Pierce was ``thrilled to death'' about the trade.
Pierce, 29, led the Celtics in scoring but played only 47 games because of injury last season. They won their 16th - and most recent - championship back in 1986.
``I would think there'd be a sense of urgency at this point,'' Pierce said after the season. ``I mean, two consecutive years of not making the playoffs. This is a town eager for the Celtics to be in the playoffs, eager for the Celtics to be one of the best teams in the NBA. I just can't see us sit here again next season not talking about the playoffs.''
Let the talk begin.
``We wouldn't do the trade for it not'' to make the Celtics a playoff team, coach Doc Rivers said.
Allen had surgery on both ankles April 7, but Ainge said he expects him to be ready before training camp starts Oct. 1.
West's departure leaves the Celtics thin at point guard, but Sebastian Telfair could stick with the team.
On April 4, team owner Wyc Grousbeck said the Celtics were severing ties with Telfair after he was arrested in the New York area and charged with carrying a loaded gun in his car.
``Sebastian and I talked,'' Grousbeck said Thursday. ``It's a long time to November. We'll see what happens.''
Allen gives the Celtics a talented veteran on a team that ended the season with just five players older than 25.
``I'm not sure any of the players in the draft are going to be as good as Ray Allen in the next few years,'' Ainge said.
Allen, who turns 32 next month, averaged a career-high 26.4 points last season, his 11th, but underwent surgery to remove bone spurs on both ankles that required him to wear protective boots.
Two months later, he wasn't running or shooting regularly but said, ``If the season was on, I would probably be playing already.''
AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Seattle contributed to this report.