But, now that both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford seem headed out the door this summer, the Celtics could have $25 million or more to spend in free agency. And, as Danny Ainge prepares for what is to come when free agency kicks off Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, he is excited about the possibilities that come with that unexpected space.
"I like the fact that we have different opportunities," Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said after the team introduced its four draft picks at its practice facility Monday morning. "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.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
"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.
Back then, Boston was coming off an Eastern Conference finals appearance without Irving and Gordon Hayward, both of whom missed the 2018 playoffs with injuries, and the Celtics were the favorites to supplant the Cleveland Cavaliers as the best team in the Eastern Conference after LeBron James chose to head west and join the Los Angeles Lakers. Irving, meanwhile, was expected to re-sign this summer, and Boston appeared to be the favorite to land Anthony Davis if he was traded away from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Things didn't quite work out that way.
After a tumultuous season, Irving seems headed out the door. After Horford opted out of the final year of his contract last week, it now appears likely he, too, will be leaving next month. Davis, meanwhile, joined James with the Lakers, rather than coming East to be the next great big man to play for the Celtics.cheap nfl jerseys china nike
So, where does that leave the Celtics? Rather than being a team that seems destined to compete for championships right away, Boston has holes at point guard (which could be filled by restricted free agent Terry Rozier, whose rights Boston still controls) and center now that Irving and Horford are leaving. Meanwhile, the Celtics sport a roster that -- including the four players the team picked (forwards Romeo Langford and Grant Williams and guards Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters) in last week's draft -- features 11 players who are 25 or younger.
Still, Ainge said he hasn't been caught off guard by anything that's happened in recent weeks.
"Blindsided? No," he said. "Not at all."
Also, when asked about the attitudes of the four players drafted, and whether character and having good people around is important, Ainge made a comment that -- depending on how it is taken -- could be seen as an indictment of the up-and-down nature of the 2018-19 version of the Celtics -- a group led, for better or worse, by Irving.
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