Should C’s make a trade? Stevens shares his philosophy as deadline nears originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Brad Stevens has been busy in his first six months as Boston Celtics president of basketball operations. But it appears there’s still more work to be done.
The retooled roster that Stevens assembled around All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has sputtered to a 16-19 record through 35 games. While they’ve dealt with multiple injuries and COVID-related absences, they’ve also been plagued by a maddening inconsistency that has invited speculation about a shakeup prior to the NBA trade deadline.
Stevens has several paths he can take, from looking to add a complementary role player — a point guard or an outside shooter, perhaps — to “blowing it up” by making Brown, Tatum and/or Marcus Smart available via trade.
If you were in Brad Stevens’ seat, what would be your priority heading into 2022?
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In an interview with The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach published Thursday, the Celtics head coach-turned-executive explained a bit of his thought process as the Feb. 10 trade deadline approaches.
“Every decision that we make and are tasked with is, what does that decision mean — when you’re talking about roster or anything else — what does that decision mean with regard to focusing on your next best chance at hanging a banner?” Stevens told Himmelsbach.
“Ultimately, there are short-term things and there are long-term things. You have to look at everything that gives you an option to do that and make that your driver.”
Translation: Stevens and the Celtics aren’t ruling out any move that they believe will make them better.
“I think you just look at it as, does it help you get closer to the ultimate goal?” Stevens added. “That’s what you have to ask when you’re looking at any of these opportunities. You just want to be as close as you can to maximizing your group and being in the mix.
“Anything that gives us an opportunity to do that that we feel is feasible, we’re going to look at exceptionally hard.”
While Stevens didn’t get into specifics, Celtics fans should be encouraged to hear he has an open mindset and understands the current product needs to improve. He also spent several seasons coaching core players like Tatum, Brown, Smart and Robert Williams, so he should have a good feel for whether the roster needs minor tweaking or a more significant overhaul.
The C’s have few more weeks to try to get healthy and turn their season around, but the more the losses accumulate, the louder the calls will be to change things up, even if that means waving the white flag and seeking future draft assets.
The spotlight will be on Stevens over the next month-plus, and based on his latest comments, every option is on the table.