C's Get Permission to Negotiate with Ainge

1981-82 Boston Celtics

After going to court to keep them away from him, the Toronto Blue Jays have given the Boston Celtics permission to negotiate with the talented Danny Ainge.

The Celtics this week received a letter of confirmation from Ainge's agent, Robert Quinney. However, there is reportedly a two-week limit on the discussions, meaning the Celtics will have just that amount of time to make a deal with Toronto and Ainge. The Blue Jays are still looking for $1 million to let Ainge, a second-round draft choice of the Celtics last spring, go to Boston. Ainge and Quinney are trying to push the Celtics into a quick decision.

Owner Harry Mangurian, general manager Red Auerbach and coach Bill Fitch met last night at the Garden to see how they would handle this latest manuever.

Does it seem a coincidence that approval from Toronto to talk comes almost to the day that the Jays traded for third baseman Aurelio Rodriguez from the Yankees? Ainge had been the Toronto third baseman, and he and Quinney thought if all else failed at his attempt to switch to basketball, he could always return to play baseball. The trade for Rodriguez indicates that the Blue Jays have given up on Ainge coming back, and now want to get their money, whether it's from the Celtics or some other NBA team the world champions trade him to if they can't make a deal.

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