Boston Celtics: Summer Olympics could impact C’s offseason plans

Boston Celtics, Jaylen Brown, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics, Jaylen Brown, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

Brad Stevens has had an eventful start to his President of Basketball Operations career with the Boston Celtics.

Before even hiring his replacement he was able to unload Kemba Walker and his awful contract while adding a familiar face and a young prospect in the process.

Then, shortly after that, he hit a home run with his hire of Ime Udoka as the C’s new Head Coach.

The early returns for Steven’s front-office career have been outstanding, to say the least. However, in all reality that was the easy part for Stevens, and now comes the hard part.

Trading Kemba seemed inevitable and Stevens was able to use his and Danny Ainge’s prior relationship with Thunder General Manager, Sam Presti, to his advantage to get the deal done.

He then was able to use his relationship with Spurs Head Coach, Gregg Popovich, to hire his long time assistant as his new head man.

These moves were basically no-brainers compared to the decisions currently found on his plate, and depending on what happens during the Summer Olympics, Stevens could soon have some very tough decisions on his plate.

We all knew the first order of business this offseason was to unload the Kemba Walker contract in order to give the Boston Celtics the flexibility to make other moves to improve this roster.

Now that the Cs have that, they must decide what to do with said flexibility?

Do they play it safe and add role players to play alongside Tatum and Brown?

Does they re-sign Stevens’ predecessor’s last big acquisition, Evan Fournier?

Does he find a free agent or cheaper trade option to replace Kemba at point, or does he simply fill the void with Marcus Smart?

The scary thing for Stevens is that these aren’t even his toughest choices.

For Stevens, his toughest choice is, does he stick with Boston’s two young, homegrown stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as his core and build around them, or does he take a gamble that Danny Ainge was never willing to do and deal Brown for another superstar to pair with Jayson Tatum?

Ime Udoka said all the right things about the prospect of coaching both Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart and, based on how Stevens has said he feels about the two, I tend to think that he would like to keep the talented trio together.

However, the 2021 Summer Olympics could influence his thinking.

The Summer Olympics have become the place where NBA superstars plan their next moves, and this year’s summer games could prove to be more of the same.

The USA team includes frustrated stars Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard, and Beantown’s own superstar Jayson Tatum.

Tatum has reportedly already had contact with Lillard, and we can all logically assume that the forward has had plenty of contact with longtime friend and fellow St. Louis Native, Bradley Beal.

Some have speculated that Tatum could be the one who is recruited to Washington or Portland but considering that both Beal and Lillard have expressed frustrations with their current franchises, and Tatum seemed to have an input in the search for a new Head Coach, that seems pretty far fetched to me.

However, Tatum and Lillard discussing the idea of teaming up in Boston doesn’t seem quite as far-fetched, and Tatum and Beal discussing the idea of teaming up in Boston seems even less far-fetched considering their well documented close friendship.

It is only natural to assume that if these discussions take place, then a similar discussion between Stevens and Tatum could as well.

This could put pressure on the rookie President to give his superstar what he wants.

Can you imagine the tough spot Brad Stevens would find himself in if he alienated Jayson Tatum?

That is not a spot you want to be in if you’re Brad Stevens.

Only the brass for the Boston Celtics truly knows if they are considering trading Brown or Smart at this time, but the Summer Olympics could make their current thinking a moot point.

If Tatum decides he wants to play with Beal or Lillard after these games, the Boston Celtics would more or less have no choice but to do whatever it takes to acquire one of them, and that includes trading Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.

Next. 2 potential trade targets Cs must avoid this offseason. dark