It certainly doesn’t sound like the Celtics will be making a change to their core, as president of basketball operations Brad Stevens told Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston that he’s a firm believer in the team’s “foundation.” It’s a lengthy interview with several other insights from Stevens.
“I really believe in our foundation,” Stevens said. “It’s really hard to be in the mix in this league. The competition is great. Sometimes things have to go your way, and sometimes they do. But you’ve got to do everything you can to take the luck out.”
“Listen, we didn’t have a great playoff run in whole,” Stevens added. “And we certainly were outplayed for the better part of that Miami series, even though it went seven games. So we have a lot of work to do. But it doesn’t mean that we need to mistake activity for achievement. For my seat, I think we have to understand what’s really good and how hard it is to have a foundation, and then figure out how to build off of it.”
Here’s more on the Celtics:
- Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer takes the opposite approach, arguing that they can’t run back the same group and need to make some big changes, including trading Jaylen Brown, whose poor ball-handling was a glaring issue in the Celtics’ Game 7 blowout vs. Miami.
- Although it could be costly, Stevens seems committed to keeping Brown, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Brown is eligible for a super-max contract after earning All-NBA honors this year, which could eventually subject the Celtics to some of the harsher provisions in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. “I can say without a doubt we want Jaylen to be here, he’s a big part of us, we believe in him and I’m thankful for him,” Stevens said. “I’m really thankful for when guys have success, they come back to work. When they get beat, they own it and they come back to work.”
- Stevens also addressed the situation involving Payton Pritchard, who was unhappy with his playing time this season and expressed disappointment after not being traded before the deadline in February, Weiss adds (Twitter link). Stevens said other teams recognize that Pritchard is a talented player who is stuck behind established veterans, but he didn’t promise to pursue a trade this summer.