Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward Ready To Go At ‘Full Speed,’ Ainge Says
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge says if training camp were to start today, both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward would be going at "full speed."
Ainge said the two appear to be fully healthy and ready for the start of a new season.
"I don't want to hype it up too much, but I'm saying that if our training camp were starting today that they would be here today going full speed," Ainge told ESPN. "It's not like they need an extra month. I think that they know they have an extra month, so they are sort of pacing themselves. They're playing as if to build up to that opening day of training camp."
Irving was sidelined by left knee issues that required multiple surgeries, while Hayward fractured his ankle just five minutes into the season.
Ainge said the team will be cautious with the two star players as they ramp things up when camp begins on Sept. 26.
"They'll both be here within the next week or so; by the time Labor Day is over, they will all be playing 5-on-5," Ainge said. "I think it's just a matter of, if they're not playing 5-on-5 now, then it's only because they want it more of a controlled environment, I guess. They're doing everything -- dunking the basketball off both legs and playing one-on-one live and jumping and cutting and defending. I'm excited for them."
Despite the loss of both Irving and Hayward, the Celtics still advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games. With LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency and two All-Star players returning to the Celtics, many experts expect Boston to be the best team in the East and one of the top teams in the league.