Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens expects his entire roster to be healthy for training camp, including guard Malcolm Brogdon and big man Kristaps Porzingis, he tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
“Everybody’s in Boston, everybody’s healthy, knock on wood,” Stevens said. “If everybody gets through the rest of the week, we should be full next Tuesday when we start practice. We’re excited about that.”
Despite not being able to play, Porzingis remained with the Latvian team during the World Cup and completed most of his rehab work while with the club. He recently arrived in Boston and, as Washburn notes, the Celtics have posted social media video this week of the big man working out at the team’s facility.
“Kristaps has been running up and down the court the last few days,” Stevens told Washburn. “I thought the progression that his trainers there (in Latvia), our trainers here, and everybody came up with to get him back so that he could avoid anything lingering was a key. He feels great. I just literally talked to him on the phone on my way here. He said he feels good.”
Here’s more from Stevens on the Celtics:
- Before they sent Marcus Smart to Memphis in their three-team deal for Porzingis, the Celtics nearly moved Brogdon to the Clippers in a different iteration of the trade. Stevens acknowledged that Brogdon was upset about his near-inclusion in that deal, but said he has spoken to the veteran guard to resolve his displeasure. “I would say he had every right to feel (upset),” Stevens said, per Washburn. “We said that this summer. But he’s a real pro and so we’ve had several discussions. He’s looking forward to getting started. We’re looking forward to getting started and here we go.”
- The Celtics haven’t drafted a player in the first round since 2020, but Stevens said the team made an effort this offseason to devote some of its back-end roster spots to young players, pointing to free agent addition Dalano Banton as one example. “We haven’t had a first-round draft pick in three years, so can you find a young guy that you can invest in and really work with,” Stevens said. “And he’s excited to be here. Those guys are important. We’re trying to win it but we’re also trying to make sure we are using our other roster spots to make sure we’re investing in younger players.”
- Stevens admitted that he feels a “sense of urgency” to compete for a title and suggested he feels good about the championship potential of the current group. “Our goal is to win and so ultimately we always have to keep our ears to the ground and our eyes open but we do like our team heading into the season,” he told Washburn. “I’m interested to see how it all plays out. To be there standing at the end, a lot’s got to go your way but we know the path. We know how to get knocking on that door and there’s nothing we want more than to knock it down.”