Stevens confirms recent success won't cause him to deviate from championship team construction
Three days ago, we wrote: "Keep in mind with just 9 days until the trade deadline, that Stevens' job is to build a championship team, NOT finish in 3rd or 4th place this season. If someone you like gets traded, remember that. Rather Boston finish 7th this yr and win a title in 2024 than finish 3rd and never win one."
Thursday morning Brad Stevens said just that on his weekly interview on Toucher and Rich:
It is Stevens job as Head of Basketball Operations to look big picture and to shoot for championships. So for example while fans might see Josh Richardson blaze the nets to the tune of 6 of 8 shooting from beyond the 3-point line on Wednesday and say, "We need to keep him," Stevens while happy with the win, isn't going to all of sudden end trade talks with other teams because of it.
Running a team that strives for championships is not the place for prisoner of the moment sentiments or getting too attached to your players. If an opposing team offers a 1st rounder for Richardson prior to the trade deadline, you get best believe Stevens will take that deal and the Celtics front office will pat itself on the back for their Richardson reclamation bet from this past off season.
Same goes for basically all players. While yes the Celtics sudden improved play is great and might make the team less likely to simply make a move for the sake of making move, again in the big picture, it's not going to stop Stevens from making a deal that positions the Celtics better for a title.
So even Marcus Smart fans are going to have to sweat out another trade deadline despite the success he's brought to the team of late. Stevens' predecessor, Danny Ainge, famously traded one of the team's two All-Stars in Antoine Walker during his first season at the helm. Stuff like that happens all the time.
The latest Celtics trade buzz featuring Smart, Time Lord, Richardson, Schroder, Langford, and Nesmith https://t.co/BTgZOhRIn7
Now what if there was some player available that could make the Celtics legit contenders this season? Well for starters I don't think any of those players are currently available, except for the ones that would cost you Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, so that's the rub there.
And let's say you are even more attached to the team and want them to keep not only the Jay's, but also Robert Williams and Smart? Well then Boston definitely doesn't have the ammo to add a guy who will take this team over the top this year.
So for all intents and purposes, you can be pretty confident that Tatum, Brown, and Time Lord will still be Celtics in a week, but any and everyone else could be gone if the price is right. Don't expect a bunch of deals, but just saying the guys most fans are fine with trading have no real trade value, so in order to make a move to position the team closer to Banner 18, the ones that have value are out there on the market.
Dennis Schroder remains the most likely Celtics player to be moved, but so far Stevens hasn't even been able to extract an offer for a solid 2nd rounder for him, so even that return might end up rather underwhelming.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, February 10th.