The senior member of the C’s Big Three was the latest in WEEI’s round of interviews with players today: The entire interview was a good read, but a couple questions about Ray’s potential long-term future with the team and in the league are worth pointing out:
On his NBA future: “When I decide to stop playing, it won’t be because of me. I think it will be more because of my circumstances. … Obviously, for one, if I’m not here anymore, that’s a huge deterrent. You end up having to play somewhere that’s not to the standards of where I’ve been in here for these last four or five years. Physically, I’m in a great place. So, I don’t worry about that at all. But again, there’s so many unforeseen circumstances that can take place that can cause me to say it’s time for me to hang it up.”
On re-signing with the Celtics when his contract expires after this season: “Am I thinking about it? Yeah, of course I’m thinking about it. I don’t need or want to go anywhere. But we’ve got to get the rally hats going so we can sign that new deal. That’s a Danny Ainge question. But of course I’d love to continue to be here.”
We’ll dissect the cap situation moving into the next week, but it’s certainly promising to see Ray showing his true colors here. The problem Allen and Ainge will be facing for that matter, as he admits is the fact keeping Ray and signing a premier free agent in 2012 will be a tough move for Ainge to pull off.
Ray is a prideful guy, so I don’t see him settling for a veteran’s minimum deal, or something close to that while he still producing at a high level. If you want to see him back though, in addition to a max-type player, that kind of paycut, or a very significant one at the very least, may be what it takes. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about that for another year at least.