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Danny Ainge opens up on Irving deal, the risks of trading with Cavs, Smarts extension and more

Danny Ainge opens up on Irving deal, the risks of trading with Cavs, Smarts extension and more
Published On: Wed, Oct 11
Mar 12, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) shoots the ball over San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (14) and power forward Tim Duncan (21) during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

BSJ: Going back to last June, could you have ever really envisioned this much change after the season you guys had last year?

Ainge: No. I mean, we were trying to build more stability and a little more continuity with what we did this summer. Hopefully, we can keep this group a little longer than (last years).

BSJ: Kyrie Irving had to waive a $5.8 million trade kicker to make the trade math work with you guys. That's a hefty chunk of change. How does something like waiving a trade kicker come about and what does it mean to you guys that Irving was willing to pass on that money?

Ainge: I mean, there are a lot of different ways things like that happen. Ultimately, Kyrie has to be willing to walk away from that money that he's entitled to. He wanted to come to Boston and he was willing to waive his trade kicker. It just tells you how much he wanted to get here.

BSJ: You guys have been tracking Kyrie as a player for years, going back to his Duke days. Is it tough at all to gauge what a player like Irving can become on his own when he has been playing next to a guy like LeBron James for the last few years of his development?

Ainge: We've been watching Kyrie playing for a long time. He's a great player no matter who he is playing with. He's a terrific player in his own right. LeBron is a terrific player and makes everybody's job easier, of course. Hes a good passer and is a player with greatness. Kyrie is a terrific player in his own right. He'll be a great fit with our group of guys and with our coach. I think he's a great fit for us.

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