The Boston Celtics don’t seem to have a game plan at all as they make deals that don’t seem to be cohesive, including bringing back marginal players.
When they switched from the retiring Danny Ainge to Brad Stevens to run the Celtics basketball operation, a legitimate question was this; will this change anything? To date, it seems not.
It doesn’t appear the Celtics have a cohesive plan to create a Championship-level team. The club’s deals to date e.g. shipping out Kemba Walker and getting 35-year old Al Horford back were boring. This doesn’t seem to have accomplished much of anything save some salary-cap relief. Big deal.
One good point in the Walker/Horford deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder was acquiring a young, long center, Moses Brown. He might just have given Celtics’ fans a bit of excitement. He did here.
Brown looks to have a world of potential at age 22. He averaged 8.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in 21 minutes per game for Oklahoma City.
That’s nearly double/double territory. And he’s 7’2″ tall to boot. He has real length rather than the usual Celtics 6’8″ centers.
So what does Stevens do? He subsequently ships Brown right out of town to the Dallas Mavericks. Why not give the young man a chance?
Where’s the beef? What’s the plan, Brad? A cogent plan would have to include doing whatever it takes to bring in a star point guard who can legitimately assist Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to win a championship. To date, that ain’t happening.
Stevens is just moving pawns around the chessboard hoping he’ll find a big piece with all this meaningless maneuvering. There’s no point and seemingly no plan.
The Boston Celtics and Brad Stevens should go big or go home
If Boston Celtics majordomo Brad Stevens thinks deals like this are going to improve the club, then he really is practicing, “Aingeism without Ainge”.
Hopefully, owner Wyc Grousbeck didn’t think he was going to get a different product in Stevens than he had in Ainge?
Stevens was hired as his coach by Ainge. He was schooled under Ainge, and he almost certainly was highly recommended by Ainge to take his job.
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What a shock? A nationwide search of a couple of days and astoundingly the guy is right there in the same office. If I didn’t know better, I’d think this was politics, not sports.
Now don’t get me wrong, Stevens seems like a great guy. But if the Boston Celtics ownership thought they’d get a new approach, they were seeing through rose-colored glasses when they should have been green-colored.
If you keep a major component of a former regime that wasn’t all that successful (one championship in 18 years is not exactly a Celtics-level return) in place, then you’ll likely get the same result. This isn’t rocket science we’re talking about here.
This team is nowhere near being championship-capable. It’s time for Brad Stevens to take a good look in the mirror and pull the trigger on an earth-shattering deal that might just catapult the Boston Celtics two levels above where they are now.
That’s where they need to go. The team has three players who could bring real value in a trade. One is untouchable. That would be Tatum.
Other than him, no one should be untouchable in trade in this space. Brown would be a tougher loss, but he and Marcus Smart would fetch a huge return.
Stevens has to start thinking about earth-shattering deals, not one’s that don’t even register on the Richter scale. If Brown is untouchable, then deal Smart and any assortment of other young players and draft picks to bring back a top point guard to run the team.
Stevens has to be willing to roll the dice and go for all the marbles. It’s better to go down swinging than just being mired in mediocrity. The start could have been trading for Lonzo Ball from the New Orleans Pelicans, but he has already been snatched up by the Chicago Bulls.
Otherwise, roll the dice on an even better player like Bradley Beal, even if does take Brown to bring him to the Boston Celtics, although some disagree with this thought.
That notwithstanding, it’s time to think big, as in championship big. Stevens and the Boston Celtics need to go big or go home.
Put a concrete plan in place, and just do whatever it takes to make it happen. As they should know, the middle ground in sports is a lonely road to nowhere.