The Boston Celtics hand extended contracts to Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge

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The Boston Celtics have rewarded head coach Brad Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge with extended contracts after a successful season.

Under the tutelage of one of the league's most talented young coaches, the Celtics ended the year with a 48-34 record and comfortably secured a playoff berth.

Despite being eliminated in the first round for the second consecutive year - going down 4-2 to the Atlanta Hawks - the organisation had no doubts about wanting Stevens to remain at the helm for the foreseeable future.

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The 39-year-old was only halfway through his original six-year, $22 million contract but has shown his worth in that time.

After the big three era of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen came to an end and head coach Doc Rivers opted for pastures new with the L.A. Clippers, not many would've expected the rebuilding job in Boston to happen as quickly and as successfully as it has done.

The credit for that must be shared equally between the coaching and playing staff and the front office. With a number of shrewd pick ups and trades, Ainge has shown himself to be one of the top executives in the league.

The 57-year-old just completed his 13th season in the position and has helped the team post a 565-484 (.539) record during his tenure. The team has made 10 trips to the postseason, competed in three Eastern Conference finals, and won the 2008 NBA title during that span.

"It's the principal job of ownership to find the very best people to run the basketball side -- to find them, recruit them, bring them in and offer them all the support and encouragement we can and retain them by creating an environment where they want to stay," said Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck.

"These conversations happened recently, very forthrightly. There was great interest on both sides. They were easy conversations. It just represented a great re-commitment from Brad and Danny to the Celtics.

Stevens echoed the words of his owner and stated that the decision to commit to the team was not a difficult one.

"You want to work in a place where you feel empowered every day, and our ownership and our front office have made that the case," Stevens said. "I love who I'm working with, I love who I'm working for. ... And so our conversation wasn't 15 minutes, but it wasn't much longer. I think the biggest thing was that we all just want to get better.

"We want to strive to compete, ultimately, to fill in that blank [championship] banner [on the wall at the team's practice facility]. And there's a lot of good fortune that has to accompany that along the way, but when you get a chance to work with people you really enjoy working with is the best part of that journey."

With an impressive young core of players, the C's will be adding to that significantly this summer as they have eight picks in this month's draft, including the number three pick acquired from the Brooklyn Nets and three first-round selections.

The Massachusetts-based franchise also has the cap space to pursue two max-contract free agents. They are certainly expected to make a run for the best player on the market in Kevin Durant.

The fans in Boston should be excited for what lies ahead.

Avery Bradley
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Isaiah Thomas

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