"We know that in Boston, our ownership has been fantastic", president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told reporters on Monday. "But I like this group of guys, and we're not looking to make changes other than just small tweaks here and there to our roster".
The silver lining to a 2017-18 campaign which saw the Boston Celtics on the brink of reaching the NBA Finals is that the team should be exponentially better next season.
"The farther you go in the playoffs, the more hard it is to lose", Ainge said. But, as it turns out, he had a good reason. 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. The two sides couldn't reach an agreement on a contract extension before the season began, and teams will be interested in prying him from Boston - because they want his services and they want to deplete some of that talent on that roster.
"I get a kick out of the fact that everywhere I go, people don't think we need Kyrie or need Gordon Hayward", he said.
"Danny emphasizes all the time how much he loves me as a player and emphasized how much they want me here".
"I don't know (if they'll pay me)", Smart said.
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Smart heads into the offseason as a restricted free agent, with the Celtics eligible to make a qualifying offer of almost $6.1 million, while maintaining the ability to match any offer made by another club.
"I don't like to make excuses", said Smart, who underwent surgery in March for a torn ligament in his right thumb and returned after just six weeks, "but my thumb is killing me". "I've been here four years".
Horford averaged 12.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists in the regular season.
Monroe, Aron Baynes and Larkin will be unrestricted free agents this summer and Marcus Smart will be a restricted free agent. There might not be enough minutes to go around for Smart, and especially not enough for someone with this type of salary.
"It was a very disappointing loss", Ainge said. "At this time past year, I didn't think we would have 11 new players".