There’s been this weird, completely wrong sentiment around NBA Twitter (mostly from trolls) that the Celtics don’t need Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. The biggest proof? Boston being one game out of playing in the NBA Championship.
Now, as dumb as that thought process is, Celtics GM Danny Ainge responded to the idea. Shockingly, he wasn’t digging it.
“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. “I have a much longer memory and remember how great those guys were and what an effort it took us to get them. I also remember how great they are and how young they are still.
“So we need Gordon and Kyrie, absolutely need them. If this playoff run and all the series of the playoffs didn’t show that, then I don’t know what does. We were able to win some games and we were able to fight through some tough battles, but we’re much, much better with Kyrie and Gordon.”
Terry Rozier and Aaron Baynes played above expectations, but imagine switching them out for two potential MVP candidates. A lineup of Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Hayward, and Al Horford would be in the NBA Championship instead of Cleveland no question.
Ainge is correct: The Celtics are much, much better with Kyrie and Irving. It’s sort of sad he had to explain that out loud.