Who has been fixing everything?
It’s been Brad all along
Who’s been pulling all the evil strings?
It’s been Brad all along
He is insidious (ha ha!)
that you haven’t even noticed
And the shame is (the shame is)
Pity, pity, pity, pity
It’s too late to fix anything.
Now that everything has gone well
Thanks to Brad (ha!)
It’s been Brad the whole time!
…and I also killed our first rounds
Brad Stevens achieved an Executive of the Year level performance in his first year behind the front office desk. His promotion to President of Basketball Operations was met with equal parts skepticism and surprise, but he quickly dispelled any doubts with his first move: securing the return of Al Horford for the cost of a 2021 first-rounder and Kemba. Walker.
Every day this movement continues to get better and better as Horford put together a 35-year-old season that is better than every season since 2019. On the other hand, Kemba Walker just lost his salary for the second time in a year at Detroit Pistons. , and he too is fast approaching a purchase there. Meanwhile, Horford just finished a season as a key contributor on a team two wins away from an NBA championship.
And that’s what Brad Stevens orchestrated: a team that was two wins away from the NBA’s greatest teambuilding achievement. Stevens made few missteps, but made a lot of the right moves on almost every turn. Here are all the major transactions Stevens’ main office made after the Horford trade:
- Acquired Bruno Fernando, Kris Dunn, a second round and a TPE for Tristan Thompson’s expiring MLE contract ✅
- Signed Enes Kanter and Dennis Schröder ❌
- Recruited Juhann Bergarin and Yam Madar (too early to tell)
- He signed Sam Hauser to a two-way deal ✅
- Traded for Josh Richardson ✅
- They signed Marcus Smart and Robert Williams to long-term extensions ✅
- Signed Juwan Morgan (too early to tell)
- Changed by Juancho Hernangómez ❌
- Garrison Matthews resigned ❌
- Signed Broderic Thomas to a two-way deal (too early to tell)
- Signed a bunch of 10 days ✅ (vibes reset with Joe Johnson)
- He faced Bol Bol and PJ Dozier to get rid of Juancho Hernangómez in a three-team trade ✅
- They traded Romeo Langford, Josh Richardson and a 2022 first for Derrick White ✅
- They traded Enes Freedom, Dennis Schröder and Bruno Fernando to bring back Daniel Theis ✅
- Left Bol Bol and Dozier in Orlando for a second round and some TPE ✅
- Signed Malik Fitts, Nik Stauskas, Luke Kornet and Matt Ryan ✅
busy year! But definitely more hits than misses for Stevens, particularly in the second half of the year. The big misses are obviously Dennis Schröder and Enes Freedom, who were the big free-agent signings last year. In the former’s case, he’s a good player who just so happened to not fit well on the roster. Stevens clearly learned his lesson before the trade deadline, correcting those mistakes by drafting players who are a perfect fit for the type of basketball Udoka wants to play.
In all, Stevens put together the best roster in the Eastern Conference that went through the toughest playoff route possible to come within striking distance of a championship.
How will you improve from here? There is a vocal group of people still clamoring for major roster changes, including a change in point guard position or the acquisition of a third star. Neither of those things seems to be on the table based on what we’ve seen since Stevens’ tenure so far. What’s more likely is that the team will improve playmaking with bench players, which is really what led the Warriors to have a championship parade instead of Boston.
The Celtics’ starting five was dominant to an incredible degree this season, so keeping the core together while making improvements on the sidelines will be the difference between coming up short in 2023 or finally getting over the hump for the first time since 2008. the disposal are the MLE and a couple of TPEs, including the hefty $17.1 million from the Evan Fournier S&T last year.
Executive of the Year awards typically honor executives in hindsight, so what Stevens does this summer and how the team performs to start the year will determine how much hardware the Celtics bring home next summer.
Hopefully it’s a lot of hardware.