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

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

Hayward played just 5.25 minutes in 1 game before severely injuring his leg and ankle.

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving wasn't inside TD Garden for the team's Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, but had a valid reason for his absence. Despite missing Irving and Hayward, the Celtics won 55 games, three more than last season, and came within one victory of reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. "That's going to eat at all of us for a while". Ainge revealed Hayward could be playing basketball in two months' time, which gives him ample time to get his conditioning back for the start of the next season in October.

"I'm not really thinking about that right now", Smart said. "I know it creates headlines and talk radio buzz, but from my standpoint, I'm not anxious".

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Reportedly unable to work out a deal during their in-season negotiations, Smart can accept a $6.1 million qualifying offer from the Green and hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent next season if he so chooses.

And Smart said he wants to stay.

The rookie averaged 13.9 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game through the grueling 82-game regular season.

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"We're not going to do something unless it makes us better".

Of course, that notion always was absolute lunacy, and periodically throughout the spring it was apparent that maybe the Celtics would actually benefit from having Irving and Hayward on their roster next season.

Irving underwent nasal surgery a few days earlier to fix a deviated septum.

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Irving's agent, Jeff Wechsler, told ESPN that the star guard wanted to watch the game but wasn't allowed to fly due to surgery. Irving wore a mask while healing from the facial fracture. Recently, in Boston Globe's Sports Q, a fan asked Chad Finn if it makes sense for the Celtics to trade Tatum for Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. Ainge said Irving wasn't there because he underwent surgery to fix a deviated septum.

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