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Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge and Celtics Agree on New Contracts

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2016

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens instructs in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics announced contract extension agreements with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens on Wednesday.

Taylor C. Snow of the team's official website confirmed the new deals are in place, though terms of the contracts weren't immediately made public.

Celtics CEO Wyc Grousbeck explained the decision to keep the key cogs in the organization:

A major job of ownership is to find the right people to run the basketball side. We believe we have found them in Danny and Brad.

Once you find your people, you need to support them in their efforts and create a work environment that enables them and the team to succeed. If all of that is in place, the topic of extending contracts becomes an easy one, because everybody wants to keep moving forward together.

Ainge joined the organization as executive director of basketball operations in 2003. He helped reshape the roster to create the space eventually used to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Paul Pierce ahead of the 2007-08 season.

The Celtics proceeded to go on their best run since the 1980s. They won five consecutive Atlantic Division titles and appeared in the NBA Finals twice, winning the championship in 2008. The former Boston guard was named NBA Executive of the Year for his efforts.

"I've seen a lot," Ainge told Celtics.com. "I've learned a lot, and I'm still learning from our young and bright coaching staff. I look forward to this next chapter of Boston Celtics history."

The team is now on the cusp of another extended streak of success after a brief rebuild. Boston hired Stevens in 2013 following his success at Butler University, and he has quickly established himself as one of the league's most effective coaches in terms of getting maximum production out of his players.

A quick glance at the Celtics roster doesn't reveal a superstar the caliber of Stephen Curry or LeBron James. Yet Boston has made steady progress during Stevens' three seasons in charge, nearly doubling its win total from 25 in 2013-14 to 48 this past season.

"It's an honor to be a member of the Boston Celtics, and we'll continue striving for growth in pursuit of Banner 18," Stevens told Celtics.com.

The next step will be winning in the playoffs. The Celtics have been eliminated in the first round each of the past two years. A star in the mold of Pierce who can carry the scoring load during the team's new era is the last missing piece, but it's a big one.

That said, the Celtics have a strong foundation with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder under contract for several more seasons. Wednesday's announcement shows the ownership group is confident Ainge and Stevens can complete the building process and get the franchise back on top.

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