Celtics president Danny Ainge determined to keep Big 3

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (5) is surrounded Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (5) is surrounded by teammates as he does push-ups after hitting the floor hard while vying for a rebound against the Miami Heat during the second quarter of Game 3 in the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals. (June 1, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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Celtics president Danny Ainge is determined to keep the team's Big Three in Boston next season. Ainge said Monday he is hoping to keep intact the aging trio of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, who brought the Celtics their first NBA championship in 22 years in 2008.

Pierce is already under contract and Garnett reportedly has agreed to a new three-year deal that can't be completed until July 11, the first day free agents can officially sign.

What's left for Ainge is to convince Allen, a free agent, to stay. "We really want Ray to come back. Time will tell." The veteran shooting guard, who just had ankle surgery, reportedly is being courted by Miami and Memphis, but the Celtics are in position to offer Allen more money than either the Heat or Grizzlies.

Odom loves trade

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Lamar Odom is back in Hollywood and back with his original NBA team. Odom formally joined the Los Angeles Clippers following a four-team trade last week. The veteran big man intends to put a nightmare season in Dallas behind him with a fresh new start in his adopted hometown. Odom was thrilled when the Mavericks engineered a deal to send him back to the Clippers, who drafted him with the fourth overall pick in 1999. -- AP

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