August 12, 2022

Who fixed it all?
It’s always been Brad
Who pulled all the strings of evil?
It’s always been Brad
It’s insidious (ha-ha!)
So treacherous
That you didn’t even notice
And pity is (pity is)
Pity, pity, pity, pity
It’s too late to fix anything
Now that everything has gone well
Thanks to Brad (ha!)
Bad Brad
It’s been Brad all along!
…and I also killed our first players

Brad Stevens put on an Executive of the Year performance in his first year behind the front 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 Al Horford’s return for the price of one. first round in 2021 and Kemba Walker.

Every day this movement continues to age better and better as Horford puts together a season at 35 better than any season since 2019. On the other hand, Kemba Walker has just been paid his salary for the second time in a year. year at the Detroit Pistons. , and he’s also fast approaching a redemption. Meanwhile, Horford is coming off a campaign as a key contributor to 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 highest team-building achievement. Stevens made a few missteps but made plenty of good moves at almost every turn. Here are all the major deals Stevens’ front 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 ❌
  • Drafted Juhann Bergarin and Yam Madar (too early to tell)
  • Signed Sam Hauser to a two-way deal ✅
  • Traded for Josh Richardson ✅
  • Signed Marcus Smart and Robert Williams for long-term extensions ✅
  • Signed Juwan Morgan (too early to tell)
  • Traded for Juancho Hernangomez ❌
  • Gave up on Garrison Matthews ❌
  • Signed Broderic Thomas to a two-way deal (too early to tell)
  • Signed a bunch of 10 days ✅ (vibes reset with Joe Johnson)
  • Fought Bol Bol and PJ Dozier to offload Juancho Hernangomez in a three-team trade ✅
  • Traded Romeo Langford, Josh Richardson and a 2022 1st for Derrick White ✅
  • Traded Enes Freedom, Dennis Schröder and Bruno Fernando to bring back Daniel Theis ✅
  • Dropped 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 certainly more hits than misses for Stevens, especially in the second half of the year. The big misses are obviously Dennis Schröder and Enes Freedom being the big signings in free agency last year. In the case of the first, he was a good player who turned out to be a bad choice for the lineup. Stevens clearly learned his lesson before the trade deadline, correcting those mistakes by selecting players who are perfectly suited for the type of basketball Udoka wants to play.

All told, Stevens assembled the best roster in the Eastern Conference that navigated the toughest road to the playoffs possible to stay within striking distance of a championship.

How will he improve from here? There is a vocal group of people who are always calling for major changes to the roster, including a change to point guard or the acquisition of a third star. Neither of those things appear to be on the table based on what we’ve seen of Stevens’ tenure so far. What’s more likely is the team improving the game with bench players, which really led to the Warriors having a championship parade instead of Boston.

Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Celtics’ starting five has been dominant to an insane degree this season, so keeping the core together while improving the margin will be the difference between missing out in 2023 or finally getting over the hump for the first time since 2008. At his disposals are the MLE and a few TPEs, including the $17.1 million Evan Fournier S&T last year.

Executive of the Year awards usually recognize leaders in retrospect, so what Stevens does this summer and how the team performs to start the year will determine how much material the Celtics bring home. ‘next summer.

Hopefully that’s a lot of material.