Brad Stevens: President of Basketball Ops

CaptainLaddie

dj paul pfieffer
SoSH Member
Sep 6, 2004
37,842
where the darn libs live
Seems unlikely he would have accomplished that in Boston though - as he clearly needed the opportunity that the trade opened up for him. Truly, the only real flaw to Brad’s impressive run as GM came when he selected Desmond Bane and traded him to Memphis for two future 2nd rounders, which -in retrospect- may have been one of the worst trades in Celtics history.
That said, Brad has otherwise been so close to perfect that it’s hard to hold that trade against him.
No, of course not. Sorry. What I'm saying is that Portland is probably happy to have Banton.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,330
Seems unlikely he would have accomplished that in Boston though - as he clearly needed the opportunity that the trade opened up for him. Truly, the only real flaw to Brad’s impressive run as GM came when he selected Desmond Bane and traded him to Memphis for two future 2nd rounders, which -in retrospect- may have been one of the worst trades in Celtics history.
That said, Brad has otherwise been so close to perfect that it’s hard to hold that trade against him.
Let’s be clear that this wasn’t a “trade” of Bane. He was the first draft workout we had that year and it seems clear that he wasn’t impressive. We selected him for Memphis so having name on our card going to the podium was a technicality due to the NBA rules. There was never any intention of Bane being a Celtic when his name was announced.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
50,717
Also, even if they actually had Bane (NBA not Batman version), is there an argument that they would have won more? Desmond Bane is a good player but I need someone to sell me on how he would have propelled the team to a championship before now.

They are not the same player but thus far in the NBA, Bane is marginally more impactful on winning than Marcus Smart. I know we have people who still need to drag Smart for all his flaws but this year showed that he alone wasn't the limitation.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,566
Whoops, you’re totally right.
That leaves me wondering what exactly was Brad’s worst decision as a GM? Have there actually been any objectively bad decisions?
Brogdon was meh, but that's results-oriented. Healthy Brogdon probably has them winning the Heat series.

They also ended up needing his salary to get Jrue.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
21,160
Santa Monica
Brogdon was meh, but that's results-oriented. Healthy Brogdon probably has them winning the Heat series.

They also ended up needing his salary to get Jrue.
Stitching together 5 end of bench players to land Brogdon was a pretty clever move by Brad.

Didn't Zarren do some shrewd work on Morgan, Fitts, & Stauska's contracts to make them filler?
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,320
Pittsburgh, PA
Stitching together 5 end of bench players to land Brogdon was a pretty clever move by Brad.

Didn't Zarren do some shrewd work on Morgan, Fitts, & Stauska's contracts to make them filler?
Yeah, I vaguely recall that their non-guaranteed salaries became guaranteed with some sort of vesting mechanism (maybe even a trade trigger) that got around the base-year compensation issues (maybe? or something like that?) and allowed them to count fully towards the matching salary.

They were the big winners in that deal - got more NBA money just for the sake of becoming trade ballast than they probably would've made in their otherwise-brief playing careers.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
32,048
Yeah, I vaguely recall that their non-guaranteed salaries became guaranteed with some sort of vesting mechanism (maybe even a trade trigger) that got around the base-year compensation issues (maybe? or something like that?) and allowed them to count fully towards the matching salary.

They were the big winners in that deal - got more NBA money just for the sake of becoming trade ballast than they probably would've made in their otherwise-brief playing careers.
The contracts were non-guaranteed but had to be guaranteed to make $ work. https://www.thescore.com/nba/news/2380265
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
8,930
Whoops, you’re totally right.
That leaves me wondering what exactly was Brad’s worst decision as a GM? Have there actually been any objectively bad decisions?
Objectively bad? I'd say none really. I think his in-season moves have been pretty meh. I personally think two 2nds each for Muscala and Tillman didn't really pay much in the way of dividends. I know, I know - insurance, whatever. But, I don't think either of those guys really contributed as much as we hoped they would. Again, not bad moves - but they pale in comparison to Brogdon, White, KP, Holiday - all of those were home runs in my view.
 

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,916
Honolulu HI
Objectively bad? I'd say none really. I think his in-season moves have been pretty meh. I personally think two 2nds each for Muscala and Tillman didn't really pay much in the way of dividends. I know, I know - insurance, whatever. But, I don't think either of those guys really contributed as much as we hoped they would. Again, not bad moves - but they pale in comparison to Brogdon, White, KP, Holiday - all of those were home runs in my view.
I actually really liked the Tillman trade and still do. I mean, two 2nd round picks got the Cs a key contributor to a decisive victory (game 3) in the NBA finals. I’ll take that every time.
Is there a higher compliment to Brad’s excellence than saying that Brad’s worst move in his three years on the job is trading two 2nd rounders for Mike Muscala? What an amazing run.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,698
Svi to me was a hedge----the strategy was to go 5-out and have depth of shooting available. If they had a significant injury to a wing or guard, or if PP slid defensively and had to be played more situationally, Svi was part of the response to that to keep the offensive scheme in place.

Those things didn't happen, fortunately.

Tillman, to me, was primarily brought in to provide a widebody for three specific possible matchups---GA, Embiid, and Jokic. And secondarily to improve big depth, and tertiary to see if he mgiht be part of the bigs rotation going fowrard. The first of those didn't happen; the second, though, came to matter as KP was hurt and while Tillman didn't play a lot, he had some key contributions in Dallas series which matter. And third is still TBD.

You build a roster for a bunch of scenarios that may develop and it's ok if you use some cap space or 2nd roun dpicks to prepare for scenarios that do not happen. For a contender, far better that than to be stuck playing Rasheed 35 mintues because you lack that one extra playable guy when you end up needing them...
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
21,160
Santa Monica
I expect Brad to trade the Celtics First-Round pick (#30) on draft day.

Last summer, Brad turned a late First (#25) into Jordan Walsh & 4 future 2nds

Boston created more financial flexibility and avoided dealing with the designated structure in place for paying first-round picks. That boosts the odds of using the $5 million taxpayer mid-level exception. Granted, for slightly less, it can sign someone for the veteran minimum without getting hard-capped.

Also, the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement introduces second-round exceptions, a tool the Celtics anticipate having. Players signed with it won't count against the salary cap until July 31, making it easier to get those prospects signed and into Summer League while preserving cap space.


Brad used some of those 2nds to acquire Tillman & Springer.

If they can resign Tillman (25) or Springer (21) at something close to the minimum for multiple years that will far exceed the expected value of a late First.

The Celtics are at the stage where guaranteeing money to 19yr old lottery tickets at the end of Round 1 isn't very exciting.
Those late Firsts hold more value to non-playoff teams, Brad recognizes that and will continue to move them while adding young, veteran players that they can also develop in Maine (& sign on the cheap if they fit).
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
21,160
Santa Monica
Further detail, Brad went down 13 slots by trading #25 Marcus Sasser (23yr old) PG who is on a 4yr/$13M rookie scale contract ($5M gtd) and ended up with:

1. #38 Jordan Walsh (20) 4yr/$7.6M (~$3M gtd)
2. Xavier Tillman (25) $1.8M
3. Jaden Springer (21) $2.2M with a team option next season at $4M
4. one more future 2nd

Brad/Zarren's end-of-roster/draft work over the last few seasons (re-signing PP, Hauser, Kornet, Queta) has been excellent.

Nico was getting lauded by the NBA media for all his trade maneuvering but the Dallas cupboard is bare of future draft assets
 

Justthetippett

New Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,867
I expect Brad to trade the Celtics First-Round pick (#30) on draft day.

Last summer, Brad turned a late First (#25) into Jordan Walsh & 4 future 2nds

Boston created more financial flexibility and avoided dealing with the designated structure in place for paying first-round picks. That boosts the odds of using the $5 million taxpayer mid-level exception. Granted, for slightly less, it can sign someone for the veteran minimum without getting hard-capped.

Also, the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement introduces second-round exceptions, a tool the Celtics anticipate having. Players signed with it won't count against the salary cap until July 31, making it easier to get those prospects signed and into Summer League while preserving cap space.


Brad used some of those 2nds to acquire Tillman & Springer.

If they can resign Tillman (25) or Springer (21) at something close to the minimum for multiple years that will far exceed the expected value of a late First.

The Celtics are at the stage where guaranteeing money to 19yr old lottery tickets at the end of Round 1 isn't very exciting.
Those late Firsts hold more value to non-playoff teams, Brad recognizes that and will continue to move them while adding young, veteran players that they can also develop in Maine (& sign on the cheap if they fit).
This does seem likely. The new CBA makes high picks a good deal, but the later first round picks....seems like not so much. I think Brad only deviates from this plan if someone he really likes slides down the board. There's not much chatter on who they like, which is to his credit. Just please no smurphy guards. We are at capacity on those.
 

Archer1979

shazowies
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
8,268
Right Here
Someone needs to share this with SAS:

“I think Brad has been great in his role as GM,” Brown said. “He was a great coach. I think he just continued that by just being a great GM, being able to put the right pieces together. … He’s helped bring this organization back in terms of winning.” Since he was hired on July 3, 2013, only the Golden State Warriors have won more basketball games; since he became the president of basketball operations in 2021, Boston has won 30 more games than any other team, with the league’s highest postseason winning percentage.
 

The Raccoon

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 24, 2018
971
Germany
Someone needs to share this with SAS:
"Since he was hired on July 3, 2013, only the Golden State Warriors have won more basketball games..."
That's crazy: The Celics trade away Garnett, Pierce and Terry, performing a substantial rebuild and over the next 11 years they win more games than 28 other franchises!
 

Jakarta

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2020
287
The Clippers have actually won 14 more regular season games in that time, but the Celtics have won 39 more playoff games (79 to 40!)

Edit for clarity: since Brad was hired in 2013.
 

chilidawg

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 22, 2015
6,432
Cultural hub of the universe
I like this attitude from Brad. We're on to 24-25.

"The adulation doesn't mean much in all sincerity. And the scrutiny doesn't mean much either," Stevens said Tuesday. "If you hang a banner everybody is going to talk about how great you are. And if you don't, they're going to talk about how much you stink. ... If you tie your approach to that, then you're just going to ride a roller coaster that's not worth the journey. So, I think the most important thing is you appreciate the people you're with, you try your best to have the best season you can. And you just keep going."

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/40431770/celtics-brad-stevens-envisions-minor-tweaks-title-defense
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
52,388
It’ll never not be funny/amazing that we thought Ainge hired the best coaching prospect in the league when in reality he hired the best GM prospect in the league.
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,055
St. Louis, MO
It’ll never not be funny/amazing that we thought Ainge hired the best coaching prospect in the league when in reality he hired the best GM prospect in the league.
I remember feeling how random it was that he pulled Brad away from Butler. Very rare case of college success translating to the NBA.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
32,048
I remember feeling how random it was that he pulled Brad away from Butler. Very rare case of college success translating to the NBA.
The story is that DA was sitting with someone at a Duke/Butler game and turned to his companion and said, “There’s the best college coach in the country.”

Companion said something like, “Yeah Coach K is great.”

But DA responded, “No, the other coach.”
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,055
St. Louis, MO
The story is that DA was sitting with someone at a Duke/Butler game and turned to his companion and said, “There’s the best college coach in the country.”

Companion said something like, “Yeah Coach K is great.”

But DA responded, “No, the other coach.”
DA has to get as much credit for recognizing this as he does for getting Brown and Tatum. Those 3 are the tree trunk of this championship.
 

Eric Fernsten's Disco Mustache

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
The story is that DA was sitting with someone at a Duke/Butler game and turned to his companion and said, “There’s the best college coach in the country.”

Companion said something like, “Yeah Coach K is great.”

But DA responded, “No, the other coach.”

So, the way I always heard this story is that it was a repeated bit of trash-talking that Ainge started doing with Pags, since Pags is a Duke alum and a huge Coach K fan
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
32,048
So, the way I always heard this story is that it was a repeated bit of trash-talking that Ainge started doing with Pags, since Pags is a Duke alum and a huge Coach K fan
Turns out DA told the story at the press conference to introduce Brad: https://www.enterprisenews.com/story/sports/college/2020/04/04/ten-years-ago-brad-stevens/1407907007/.

It was Pags and DA at the 2010 NCAA Finals. Probably a few different variations of it as I thought I heard it on a podcast or interview or what-not.

Danny Ainge, the team’s president of basketball operations, recalled attending the 2010 Duke-Butler national championship game with team owner and Duke graduate Steve Pagliuca when legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski was paired against the 33-year-old Stevens.
“As I sat there, I said to Steve at that time, ‘That’s the best coach in college basketball right down there on the sideline,’
’’ recalled Ainge. “He thought I was talking about coach K. We had a little debate about that.’’