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Danny Ainge: Celtics Need Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward

30 May, 2018, 16:49 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • BIG OPPORTUNITY Brad Stevens watches the Celtics during shootaround before last night’s Game 6 in Cleveland

I think there are so many little things that he'll continue to improve upon, but he's not afraid. "I've been around a lot of places, but Boston has definitely been my favorite".

"I'm not really thinking about that right now", Smart said.

Smart is the type of player that you hate to play against, but love when he's on your team. "My heart's here. But there's definitely going to be some factors going into it".

"To be honest, I'm worth more than $12-14 million, "Smart told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan".

The Celtics are positioned to match any reasonable offer for Smart this summer.

Smart heads into the offseason as a restricted free agent, with the Celtics eligible to make a qualifying offer of almost $6.1 million, while maintaining the ability to match any offer made by another club.

Speaking to the media, however, Ainge didn't reveal what their plans are for Smart and simply chose to praise the player for the impact he's had on the team. Both Rozier and Smart, meanwhile, expressed a desire to remain in Boston after their exit interviews, and both are well-loved competitors within the organization. The Celtics are resigned that Smart will opt for a bigger payday elsewhere instead of taking a hometown discount.

"It's been a long 24 hours for me", he said.

I'd honestly be surprised if he did that. "It's just something I'm still kind of wary about". He returned to help Boston get to the East finals and wrote "Mama's Boy" on his shoes to honor his mother, who had implored him to focus on basketball.

With July 1 looming, we'll soon find out what the future holds for Smart and the C's. He injured the thumb on the same hand while diving for a loose ball in March and missed the start of the playoffs.

The four-year guard said a conversation with general manager Danny Ainge gave him confidence that he'll be in a Celtics uniform again next season. "Marcus had a terrific year".

It's really a tough situation for Boston to be in.

Ainge said yesterday he's probably only going to tinker around the edges of this team, which means guys like Greg Monroe are probably gone.

Just having Tatum and Brown as fourth and fifth options is one of the most special situations in the National Basketball Association, and having those next three options give the Celtics an edge that is impossible to replicate without embracing young talent on rookie contracts like they have.



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