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Celtics prez Gotham preaches optimism

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics team president Rich Gotham still shudders when he reflects on sitting in the lottery war room in late May when the team's draft fate was determined and dreams of a top pick were dashed. While pleading for patience as part of the team's current rebuilding process, he's not bashful in admitting that he hopes that both he and the team can avoid the lottery process again for the foreseeable future.

And three months after the ping-pong balls defied Boston, and a couple months since Boston plucked Marcus Smart (6th) and James Young (17th) in the 2014 draft, Gotham expressed an excitement about the team's youngest players and their future potential.

"I've been loving Marcus Smart's play, because he's just tough," said Gotham, admitting he often peeks at the on-court offseason action whenever he's at the team's training facility in Waltham this summer. "He goes out there and he competes. I saw James Young for the first time the other day, and I saw him stroke a couple of lefty 3-pointers from the a couple feet beyond the arc and I was like, 'Hmmm, we could use that.'

"It's exciting. I'm a hoops junkie. I love watching the young guys, I love watching their development, I love thinking about what these guys could become. I watched our draft workouts, but the best workout I saw all summer was Kelly Olynyk putting on a shooting clinic hitting 3s. We bring in all these guys, but we've got great guys on our team. It's exciting to think about how these guys will develop over time.

"The franchise, we're committed to being patient as we need to be to get the team to where it needs to go. What you want, most importantly, is to have options. Whether it's developing your young guys and utilizing those draft picks -- and utilizing them well -- and getting guys that can help you hang that next banner. Or it's using those picks and cap space as assets to acquire other players, whether it's via trade or free agency. I think we have all those options available to us, and they'll continue to be available to us for the foreseeable future. And that's really all that you can ask for. You can't be too hasty in trying to make things happen just for the sake of trying to make it happen in order to appease any sense of impatience. You gotta stay true to the process."

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