Danny Ainge tore apart the team that made the Eastern Conference finals last year Courtland Sutton Broncos Jersey , and then put together a new roster that came one victory from playing for an NBA title.
This summer may present him with an even bigger challenge: standing pat.
With Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving coming back from injuries to join fellow All-Star Al Horford and young stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics general manager doesn’t really need to do much to give the NBA’s most-decorated franchise a chance at its 18th title.
And that’s not really in Ainge’s nature.
”I like this group of guys,” he said Monday, a day after the Celtics lost Game 7 of the conference finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. ”We’re not looking to make changes, other than a handful of tweaks.”
But he also said: ”You never know what opportunities will present themselves.”
The Celtics finished with the No. 1 seed in the East in 2017, but the five-game loss to the Cavaliers in the conference finals reinforced what Ainge already suspected: that that team was not going to take the next step.
He went after Hayward (and, unsuccessfully Dallas Goedert Youth Jersey , Kevin Durant), then won the draft lottery.
It still wasn’t enough.
When Irving asked the Cavaliers to trade him, Ainge pounced, giving up fan favorite Isaiah Thomas in a package that left Boston with 11 new players. (He also wheeled the No. 1 overall pick to Philadelphia for a future No. 1 and the right to draft Tatum – the player he says he really wanted.)
Despite losing Hayward in the first quarter of the season opener, and Irving in March, the Celtics had home-court advantage for Game 7 and led the Cavaliers with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. But with the Celtics shooters turning ice cold, LeBron James proved to be too much Jimmy Garoppolo Jersey 49ers , amassing 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists while playing every second of the game.
”The farther you go in the playoffs, the more difficult it is to lose,” Ainge said. ”It was one of those games we lost that we should have won. That’s going to eat at all of us for a while.”
But the team’s performance in the playoffs also gave the Celtics reason to believe that this team may be good enough to contend for the title. And with the two injured All-Stars returning, this summer doesn’t have to be like last summer.
”Last year, we didn’t know all that stuff was going to happen, but we do feel we have a bright future with this team A.J. Green Jersey ,” Horford said. ”It’s something we’re all looking forward to. We can’t think about `what could have been.’ But when Kyrie is on our team, we’re at another level.”
The biggest issue for the Celtics this year is holding onto guard Marcus Smart, who is a restricted free agent and expected to draw offers of $12 million to $14 million. Ainge said the team is willing to pay the luxury tax if that’s what it takes to build a contender.
And Smart said he wants to stay.
”They’re already planning for me to be here,” he said at the team’s practice facility after exit interviews. ”I want to be in Boston. I’ve been here for four years. My heart’s here.”
Center Aron Baynes is an unrestricted free agent, as are Greg Monroe and Shane Larkin.
”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. ”But in this league Mike Gesicki Jersey , you never know.”
And with Ainge calling the shots, it’s almost impossible to predict the future.
”We’re not going to do something unless it makes us better. And there’s no guarantee that those deals are there,” Ainge said. ”At this time last year, I didn’t think we would have 11 new players.”
鈥?Tom Brady is not looking to have the radio host who called his daughter “an annoying little pissant” to lose his job.The Patriots quarterback said early Monday he’s reconsidering whether to continue a long-running weekly radio appearance with the station. Hours later at the Super Bowl media night, he was asked about the incident in which WEEI host Alex Reimer made the remarks about Brady’s 5-year-old daughter after watching the first episode of a Brady documentary called “Tom vs. Time” that is airing on Facebook. Reimer’s show aired Thursday, four days before Brady’s weekly morning radio segment with different hosts.“I didn’t hear too much about it. I didn’t get into it much,” Brady said at the Xcel Center. “I certainly hope the guy is not fired.“I just know everybody is real protective of their kids. I never stayed away from criticism. I understand that criticism is part of sports. But I certainly don’t think that my children or anybody else’s children deserve to be in that. And that’s what I said.”Brady cut short an appearance on Monday morning and said Roquan Smith Jersey , “I’ll obviously evaluate whether I want to come on this show again.“It’s very disappointing when you hear that certainly with my daughter or any child. They certainly don’t deserve that.” The station says Reimer has been suspended indefinitely.The Patriots and the station recently announced an extension of their agreement, which involves weekly calls from Brady and coach Bill Belichick. The five-time Super Bowl champions will play for their sixth ring against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.Brady expressed no regrets about doing the Facebook series.“I thought it was fun. I thought it was a great opportunity,” he said. “The fans like it. And that’s really what we were looking for.”He said his son will be in an upcoming episode that features their summer trip to China.Patriots safety Devin McCourty praised Brady defending his daughter.“It’s always easy to defend our families,” McCourty noted. “I thought that was very disappointing to see anyone say anything negative toward his daughter, or anything about your family. Really poor taste.“But I think as always Tom handled it in the right way with something like that. But I think with all of us that’s one thing that we’re gonna tolerate is anything toward our family.”.
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