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Danny Ainge Optimistic That Kyrie Irving Will Stay With Celtics

BOSTON (CBS) -- Will he stay or will he go? That is the big uncertainly surrounding Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics right now.

But Celtics president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge doesn't sound too concerned about the issue.

Following Anthony Davis' trade demands earlier this week, reports surfaced that Irving is re-thinking his pre-season pledge to sign with the Celtics long-term. There are even murmurs that he wants to join forces with LeBron James in Los Angeles. Yes, we are deeply entrenched in the NBA's "Silly Season" with the trade deadline just a week away.

Irving is set to opt out of his contract on July 1, and the Celtics can offer him a max contract over five years and more money than any other team. While it's an impossible task to get inside the unique mind of Kyrie Irving, Ainge is still confident that the star point guard will be wearing Celtics green for the foreseeable future.

"I talk to Kyrie all the time. My feelings have not changed," Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich on Thursday morning. "I feel like Kyrie likes it in Boston, but I certainly can't talk about Kyrie's impending free agency. That's taboo, and we won't know anything until July for certain. But I'm optimistic."

A big factor in Irving's decision this summer will be if Boston can acquire Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. They can't join the fray until Irving opts out (or they include him in the package ahead of next week's trade deadline) due to the NBA's "Rose Rule," but Ainge is reportedly ready to offer up anything and everything that New Orleans would want (minus Irving). Rumors are swirling that Davis wants to play for the Lakers and he wants the Pelicans to send him there before next Thursday's NBA trade deadline, but GM Dell Demps isn't entertaining that notion right now.

Chances are if the Celtics acquire Davis, Irving will sign long-term. That would give them a great shot at convincing Davis to do the same the following summer.

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