Over the last few preseasons, any media appearance by Danny Ainge has served as a major occasion with the backdrop of a recent roster overhaul or looming trade speculation. For Ainge’s first appearance of the 2018-19 season on Wednesday at the Auerbach Center, things took on a different tone.
Trade chatter around the likes of Jimmy Butler was non-existent. No one else on this roster is going anywhere during camp either. The Celtics know who they are this year. Ainge has amassed a powerhouse and he’s eager to see what they capable of as they start this campaign at full strength.
“I feel good about our roster,” Ainge declared. “Like I just said, we have a lot of depth, guys that can fill in and we showed the depth that we had last year and it could be even better this year. We have a deep roster and I think we’re ready for anything.”
With Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving participating fully in training camp over the first two days, Ainge isn’t even giving a second thought of integrating them back into the lineup.
“Just in case you didn’t know, those guys are really good,” he said. “Least of our worries. Obviously, health is always an issue with all our players but those guys look great. They’ve worked hard in the offseason on their rehab.”
While the NBA rumor mill has been swirling with speculation about Irving for much of the summer, Ainge signaled a sense of ease with where the Celtics stand overall and with Irving’s status heading into his pending unrestricted free agency next summer. Irving’s done plenty to throw cold water on fans’ worries over the last couple days with his comments, and those remarks aren’t considered out of the ordinary for Ainge.