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Ainge: ‘We think we’re going to be better’

07.08.10 at 8:29 pm ET
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ORLANDO –Some highlights of Danny Ainge’s 10-minute sit down with the media on Thursday. Ainge was literally sitting down, as he occupied the last chair on the Celtics bench throughout the team’s summer league loss to the Pacers and spoke to the media at halftime of the contest.

Contract status of Jermaine O’Neal

“I’m going to do all that once it’s done. I’m not going to comment on anybody until it’s done. I can’t tell you ‘€¦ I’m supposed to wait until the contracts are done. The moratorium today is the first day we can talk, but not until the contracts are done.”

Is there mutual interest?

“We intend to sign him. And I’ll talk about it when we do.”

How about the Ray Allen and Paul Pierce deals?

“I can talk about it when it’s done, which is probably tomorrow.”

Assuming these deals will be done, are you happy with the offseason to this point?

“I think the priorities to start the offseason were obviously Paul and Ray and then to strengthen our center position in lieu of Perk’s injury. Those were our priorities right there. So hopefully by tomorrow we’ll have those three things taken care of and then we can continue to work on it.”

Status of Kendrick Perkins

“Perk is scheduled to have surgery on Monday (pushed back). I guess the philosophy is to get more range of motion and the swelling and strengthening. Just rehabbing before the surgery.”

Is it just the ACL for Perkins?

“I know there were injuries to the MCL and the PCL, but I don’t know to what extent they need to be surgically repaired. Those might heal on their own, as sprains or strains. But I do know that the ACL needs to be repaired.”

Any Rasheed Wallace updates?

“No, none.”

Is there still an interest in re-signing Tony Allen and Nate Robinson?

“We like Nate and Tony and I’m sure that they are still looking at the market too. The market is pretty crazy right now so we’ll be patient and look at other options as well in case they go in another direction. But we do have interest in both of them. Always have.”

Can this team compete in what will surely be a much different Eastern Conference?

“Absolutely, yeah. We’re the Eastern Conference champions and we think we’re going to be better.”

After the first call to David Lee, was there any more contact during the free agency process?

“Yeah, yeah. We couldn’t compete [financially].”

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