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Saturday, July 7, 2012
Jeff Green returning to Celtics

By Chris Forsberg
ESPNBoston.com

The agent for unrestricted free agent Jeff Green said Saturday that the framework for a deal is in place for his client to return to the Boston Celtics next season.

Green's agent, David Falk, would not reveal the specific length or value of the contract, but confirmed that the details have been ironed out and a deal likely will be consummated after the leaguewide moratorium on new business lifts Wednesday.

"This is where Jeff always wanted to be," said Falk, who continued to heap praise on the Celtics organization for the way it handled Green's heart ailment last season.

Falk stressed that Boston's goodwill played a major factor in his decision to return and said he's not surprised a deal got hammered out since the two sides were on the same page from the start of the process.

Both Falk and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge expressed optimism that a contract would get done earlier this week and, after watching Ray Allen elect to sign with the Miami Heat on Friday night, the Celtics appear to have moved quickly to finalize with Green.

Green, traded to Boston in February 2011, sat out all of last season after undergoing surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm that was detected in training camp as the two sides prepared to sign a one-year, $9 million deal.

The relationship between Green and the Celtics was strengthened through his heart woes as Ainge accompanied him to doctor visits throughout the detection and repair, which will allow Green to resume his basketball career next season without limitations.

"Jeff, when he got traded to the Celtics, he loved his experience, he wanted to prove that he's a better player than he played when he got here (at the end of the 2010-11 season)," said Ainge, who dealt Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City in exchange for Green, Nenad Krstic, and a first-round pick (used to select Fab Melo in this year's draft) at the 2011 trade deadline.

"He really wants to make it work and, through the whole discovery, the surgery and the rehab, it was something that was motivating him. He wanted to come back to Boston and he wanted to show his worth. Through the playoffs, he loved the atmosphere -- he loved the atmosphere that was created by our fans. He loved his teammates and he just really wanted to make it work."

It's a sentiment echoed by Falk, who last week suggested Boston distinguished itself with its handling of Green's situation, particularly the care shown by Ainge and coach Doc Rivers.

"He's had a lot of interest from other teams, but, as I said earlier with (Boston first-round pick and fellow Falk client) Jared (Sullinger), having managed so many great players in my career, I believe the most important thing isn't where you have the most endorsement opportunities, where the media is the flashiest," Falk said. "It's being in a place where you have a great fit, and I think that one of the things that makes the fit the most effective is the relationship a player has with his coach. ... And I think when you have a coach having your back, you're halfway home. And I think the relationship that Jeff has with Doc is very special."