The Retooling of the Boston Celtics

The Retooling of the Boston Celtics

by June 26, 2021 0 comments

The Boston Celtics are revamping their organization after a disappointing 2020-2021 season. Danny Ainge stepped down as the president of basketball operations after 18 years with the team, his final move being the promotion of head coach Brad Stevens to his position. With Stevens now the president, the Celtics had to look for a new head coach.

The front office and coaching staff were not the only changes to the organization. The team also announced that they traded Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Al Horford and Moses Brown

Kemba Walker Trade

Stevens’ first move was trading away Walker. The point guard has dealt with knee injuries since coming to Boston. He had unfortunate luck with the team, as production became inconsistent and his athleticism dipped from his time in Charlotte. The move resulted in bringing back former Celtic Horford and breakout center Brown. With this trade, the Celtics will have nine million more in cap space for this offseason. In the last year of his contract, Horford will only make $14.5 million of the $26.5 million unless the team wins the NBA championship in the 2022-23 season. 

This trade helps rebuild cap flexibility for the team moving forward in the offseason. They still need to rework their roster to contend for the Finals. Boston has struggled with their bench depth for a few years; it has been regularly filled with younger prospects. With Stevens now in charge of the roster, it seems like the team will make major moves in cleaning house. Stevens will restructure the bench, which could include trading young players in Grant Williams, Tremont Waters, and Carsen Edwards. This would allow them to create space for veterans that will help Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown

Free Agency

The team will look to free agency to fill those positions that allow the bench to become more in tune with the starting five’s production. Tim Hardaway Jr, T.J. McConnell, and Lonzo Ball would be perfect fits for this Boston Celtics team. All three are free agents this season and Stevens is known to love players that can play tough defense. These are all great defenders, and all three are able to produce on both sides of the ball. 

The team will also have to look into the center position. As of right now, Boston has five centers on the roster. With the addition of Horford and Brown, the team will have to move Tristan Thompson, Luke Kornet, or Robert Williams. Stevens thrived with Williams on the court, while Kornet barely saw minutes this season for the team since joining the Celtics during the trade deadline. Williams is still young and on his rookie contract, which makes him more valuable to the roster. Thompson on the other hand is starting to regress, and in his contract’s final year, the center will be a great trade asset. The veteran will have to be traded for the better of the team, as his nearly $10 million contract is taking up space in a loaded frontcourt. 

Thompson could be used as trade bait for a contender looking for a backup center. Stevens should deal the center for some future draft capital, whether it is a second round pick or even a first. This will allow them to free up more cap space to fill out the bench. Another move that Stevens should look into is resigning Evan Fournier. Although Fournier had a mediocre time with Boston, his shooting off the bench will be valuable. Re-signing the guard will also give the Celtics a reliever in case of injuries. The team has been dealing with consistent injuries to their guards and forwards for years. Seemingly every year a starter goes down for half the season. Fournier will be able to provide relief in those situations as he is capable of providing starting production. 

New Head Coach

Stevens has already hired the Boston Celtics’ new head coach. It was a move that was not only approved of by fans, but also had the approval of their three main players in Tatum, Brown, and Marcus Smart. The team brought in Ime Udoka, former assistant coach of Gregg Popovich and assistant coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Udoka comes in highly rated amongst coaches and players alike. Udoka has been around NBA championship caliber teams in San Antonio and Brooklyn. He will be filling the shoes of Stevens, and will continue what the coach-turned-president has created in Boston. A defensive-minded leader that empowers the style of hustle and grit, he fits Stevens’ desire for a coach that can continue his coaching style while bringing in more grittiness. 

The Boston Celtics’ retool of their organization is top-to-bottom, creating new management to adjusting their team roster. The 2020-2021 Celtics will be no more as the 2021-2022 Celtics will be a new and improved organization. The team is looking to build around their duo of Tatum and Brown, and the team is doing so quickly. With all of these changes, most organizations would be years away from contending. Boston, on the other hand, will be contending for the a championship this upcoming season. 

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Main Image Credit: via The Fanatic

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