Danny Ainge Reiterates Value Of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward To Celtics

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Danny Ainge tore apart the team that made the Eastern Conference finals previous year, and then put together a new roster that came one victory from playing for an National Basketball Association title. There have been bumps along the way, but on Monday, Celtics general manager and president of basketball relations Danny Ainge provided an encouraging update on Hayward's progress. Shockingly, he wasn't digging it.

"I hope we have something special with this group", said Brown, who in his second year averaged 14.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

"Right now, they're young fellas and in order not to be young fellas they've got to persevere". The Celtics still have things they need to figure out, making sure they can be at their best when the regular season starts. I always leave everything on the court, every game.

"At this time past year", he said, "I couldn't have said that we were going to have 11 new players off the team that just won 52 games and won a playoff round (actually two), but you just don't know what opportunities present themselves". Marcus Smart's status is uncertain, as he'll embark on free agency next month. And during an appearance on WEEI's "Dale & Keefe" on Friday, Ainge pointedly reiterated the importance of both Hayward and Irving. It's sort of sad he had to explain that out loud.

"I wouldn't [address a contract situation after Game 7] but a lot of players do so it's his prerogative", Ainge admitted. "But in the medical world, I guess I'm never surprised", he said.

The Celtics have a big summer ahead of them and Kyrie Irving's health will have a big factor in what they do.

In an ideal world, Marcus Smart expects a small scale version of Isaiah Thomas' mythical Brinks truck to arrive when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer.