The Celtics are going to need to be prepared for anything this summer, and that includes an alternative plan at the point guard position if Kyrie Irving walks away in free agency. While Danny Ainge admitted on Wednesday he has heard nothing concrete about the intentions of his All-Star point guard, it’s fair to note that the sense of optimism about Irving's return to Boston can’t be considered great. The team will hold out hope for a return, but will obviously be waiting anxiously as June 30th approaches.
In the meantime, alternative plans will be needed to be formed for Boston in the backcourt (if Irving walks) and one of the potential options on that front still appears to be restricted free agent Terry Rozier. The 24-year-old created plenty of headlines after a day-long appearance on ESPN last month as he threw members of the coaching staff and teammates under the bus following a subpar season for himself.
For the first time on Wednesday, a member of the Celtics organization publicly commented on those remarks, with Ainge speaking positively about the four-year Celtic.
“You guys know I’m a big fan of Terry’s,” Ainge said. “I don’t always agree with how everybody handles the media, just like they probably don’t agree with how I handle the media and things that I say. We don’t always think alike, that’s what makes the game fun. But I’m a big fan of Terry’s.”
While Rozier only signaled an openness in returning to Boston if his role or the personnel changed, Ainge left the door open for that type of hypothetical on Wednesday.
“I think that if Terry was in the right circumstance and the right role, I think he would love playing in Boston, is my opinion,” Ainge said. “And if not, then I think Terry would let me know that. But Terry and I have a very good relationship, as Terry does with Brad as well.”
There are two schools of thought when hearing remarks like this from Ainge in the face of inflammatory comments from Rozier.