BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics are out of the playoffs, and Celtics president Danny Ainge has a busy summer ahead of him.
But that doesn’t mean he won’t be keeping a close eye on the postseason, and he’s even picked a dog in the fight.
Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Thursday morning that he hopes to see former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, as well as his former player Jason Kidd, to do well for the Nets when the NBA playoffs begin in two weeks.
“I love those guys; I’d love to see them succeed,” Ainge said. “Since we’re not in it this year I will root for them. I coached Kidd and have a good relationship with him, and of course Paul and Kevin, so I’d like to see them succeed.”
Ainge said that his focus this season has shifted between the pros and college, but he feels prepared for June’s NBA draft.
“It goes in phases. I was totally consumed with NBA basketball for the first half of the season and then the draft became a major focus,” said Ainge. “I feel pretty prepared; we still have combine camps and draft workouts, interviews and stuff we’ll conduct and a lot more film to watch. But I will pay attention to the playoffs as well — as soon as the draft is over we start free agency. It doesn’t end for me and my staff.”
When it comes to free agency, the Celtics have a few of their own about to hit the open market. Avery Bradley will be a restricted free agent, and both Kris Humprhies and Jerryd Bayless are unsigned after this season. Ainge said he has spoken with Humphries, but can’t make any promises about next season until the Celtics have a better understanding of what direction they’re heading in.
“I have had a few conversations with Kris, because he’s been with us all year,” said Ainge. “He knows where we are as an organization and he knows we like him. He also knows there is a lot of uncertainty. But he knows we like him, his coaches and teammates like him, we just can’t make any promises yet.”
MORE FROM TOUCHER AND RICH
- Boomer Esiason: Don’t Worry About Stephen Gostkowski
- Ainge: Celtics Will Be Careful With Smart’s Ankle Injury; Olynyk Not Expected Until Mid-November
- Brandon Meriweather Talks Dirty Hits, Unfair Rules Against Defensive Backs On Toucher & Rich
- Howe: Temper Expectations For Dion Lewis Upon Eventual Return To Patriots