Celtics exploring 'different opportunities' amid uncertainty over Irving and Horford – Ainge

By E.Jay Zarett 25 June 2019 150
Celtics exploring 'different opportunities' amid uncertainty over Irving and Horford – Ainge

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said the team are exploring "different opportunities" amid uncertainty over star pair Kyrie Irving and Al Horford.

The Celtics are reportedly set to undergo a major overhaul, with both Irving and Horford tipped to leave in free agency.

Irving has been linked to the Brooklyn Nets, while the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks have emerged as destinations for Horford.

Ainge discussed Boston's offseason plans when he met with reporters on Monday.

"I like the fact that we have different opportunities," Ainge said. "And we have some flexibility, but I don't really know what is realistic yet.

"That's what we'll spend the rest of this week trying to figure out, is what even do we have a chance to do and where should be our priorities?

"But I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm excited about the flexibility that we have. I'm excited about the youth that we have and some of our returning players. I think it's going to be a really fun year. Looking forward to it."

The Celtics have already added four players to their roster - Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters – following last week's draft.

"I think it just makes life more enjoyable when everybody is humble, hard working and will play any role they have to [in order] to help the team succeed," Ainge said. "You do have to have a certain amount of talent to win, as we all know, but good people makes coming to work more fun."

The Celtics entered the season as the favourites to win the Eastern Conference but finished with a 49-33 record and were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the conference semi-finals.

"We have a really good feel for all the players in the league, who they are and how they might fit with us and our needs and so forth," Ainge said. "I wouldn't say a lot more homework, but we will have a lot of conversation. That's probably the biggest thing, just to get organised as we possibly can for all the possible scenarios in free agency."

The Celtics also appear like they are exploring the trade market. They have reportedly "checked in" with the Houston Rockets about a deal for center Clint Capela and also explored acquiring New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday.

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E.Jay Zarett