Boston Celtics: Where the franchise stands heading into the 2018 offseason

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Boston will be healthy next season and depending on what happens with LeBron and his free agency, the Celtics should be considered the early favorite in the East.

Irving continued that trend in an interview with The Boston Sports Journal's Brian Robb (subscription required).

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving missed the postseason thanks to a pair of knee surgeries - the first to remove troublesome hardware, the second as a result of bacteria discovered at the site.

Boston reached the Eastern Conference Finals, despite not having either Irving or Hayward to call upon in the playoffs.

Irving also had a separate surgery in May to fix a deviated septum, a procedure that kept him away from the sidelines for Game 7 of the Celtics' Eastern Conference Finals series against James and the Cavaliers.

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It's been a whirlwind of a calendar year for Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving. "You know, and just going into this year with the mindset of trying to win a championship".

Because the Celtics are over the cap, Irving can only sign for 120 percent of what he's making now, which is just over $20 million. It obviously wasn't going to feel the same, but I was just so proud of our guys and what they did. I'd been talking about how great [the younger players] were. He raved about Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, then noted how Marcus Smart gave up his body and "that's the type of attitude and effort you'd love to be part of". Some of their numbers particularly probably didn't look as appealing to the outside looker, but they were always locked in.

"If you're faced with losing him for nothing, they should take Gordon Hayward". You saw guys that literally are going to be stars in this league for years to come. I'm excited. What makes it even more exciting and the challenge is now we have championship pedigree.

There will nearly certainly be hot take artists who read that from Irving and do the "he's not committed to the team" nonsense that we've come to expect out of radio hosts and columnists from the otherwise great city of Boston.

Kyrie Irving is pondering that - and a movie release and his future and LeBron's next Decision.

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