Celtics' Ainge: Prepared to stand pat this summer (maybe)

"I couldn't love them any more". I am originally from Mansfield Connecticut right next to Uconn and the basketball capitol of the world, I am an avid basketball fan, I still play the game, I officiate high school basketball and still watch basketball nearly everyday.

Celtics guard Marcus Smart said Monday that his heart is in Boston and that he believes the team is planning for his return next season, even as he prepares for the uncertainty of restricted free agency this summer.

Kyrie Irving was not on the bench for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night. "You never know what he sees that a coach does not see". Those guys would give anything to be out there and play.

After spending the last few summers chasing the likes of Kevin Durant, Ainge put together a roster ready to contend with Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving leading the way.

"Gordon is progressing well", Ainge said, via MassLive's Tom Westerholm. What was interesting about yesterday's game was I felt like it was one of the playoff games that we lost that we should have won. "I think that the further you go in the playoffs, the harder it is to lose".

The 24-year-old averaged 10.4 points and 29.9 minutes per game this season. "And there's no guarantee that those deals are there", Ainge said. "There's going to be some factors and I need to talk to her, my family, and things like that". "I don't know [if they'll pay me]".

But LeBron James' experience and expertise in clutch situations proved too much for the likes of Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown. "They didn't just walk through that door, they ran through that door and proved that they're fantastic players".

Irving played for the Cavaliers from 2011-17.

"Marcus had a terrific year", he said.

There are some in the national media, ESPN's Zach Lowe most notably, who feel this is a real possibility.

Center Aron Baynes is an unrestricted free agent, as are Greg Monroe and Shane Larkin. "There's going to be a lot of players next year, so I'm not 100 percent sure where I fit totally yet".

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