Marcus Smart on restricted free agency -- Worth more than $12M-$14M

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Ainge met with the Celtics players on Monday morning and their Game 7 loss was still fresh on their minds.

Things could certainly change if a star player becomes available on the open market over the offseason, but for the time being the Celtics look more than committed to their current promising roster. When you think about how much better these young players can get, and the Celtics have something with their bench that no one else in the National Basketball Association has.

So it's likely that Hayward's return to game action for the Celtics won't come until the preseason in September.

"The farther you go in the playoffs, the more hard it is to lose", Ainge said.

Danny Ainge explained that Kyrie Irving had a good reason for missing Sunday's Game 7 after his absence drew criticism. We've been really fortunate to continuously get better the last couple of years and put ourselves in better positions.

"Gordon is progressing well", Ainge said. I would much rather have the great Kyrie Irving in the building. 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.

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"I'm not really thinking about that right now", Smart said. Given the lack of teams with the resources and desire to add a player with Smart's skill set, it seems unlikely he'd get the sort of offer that would make it prohibitive for the Celtics to bring him back.

The team said at the time that Irving would need four to five months to recover.

He finished the 2017-18 season averaging 10.2 points and 4.8 assists per game, producing similar numbers in the postseason with 9.8 points and 5.3 assists per game.

Monroe, Aron Baynes and Larkin will be unrestricted free agents this summer and Marcus Smart will be a restricted free agent.

Ownership has indicated a willingness to spend for a contender, but it's unclear at what level, and even less clear where Smart - whose unique style of play makes his potential salary exceedingly hard to project - fits into that reality. "And there's no guarantee that those deals are there", Ainge said. "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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