Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens is clearly a different front-office leader than Danny Ainge was towards the end of his tenure.
Ainge wasn’t gun-shy about making deals in his final year in charge, but he no longer seemed interested in making the sort of blockbuster moves he made throughout the 2010s and settled on bringing in guys like Evan Fournier, Luke Kornet, and Moritz Wagner at the trade deadline instead of taking serious swings.
The roster as it was simply didn’t cut it last year when stacked up against the Brooklyn Nets or Milwaukee Bucks, and Stevens seems willing to acknowledge that. It led to an active summer filled with fireworks.
Now, when a big name hits the market, the Boston Celtics aren’t a team met with eye rolls when mentioned. So with 2022 free agent Zach LaVine set to hit the market, the ball has already begun rolling.
The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn listed LaVine alongside Bradley Beal as some potential big game targets.
Pippen Ain’t Easy doesn’t foresee a Zach LaVine-Boston Celtics deal this season
For what it’s worth, our Chicago Bulls FS sister site Pippen Ain’t Easy isn’t sold on the idea that LaVine would be swapping out his Chi-Town reds for Cs green.
Andrew Miller noted that the Bulls front office has given no indication that they were leaning towards moving the 2016 NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner, but acknowledged that his contract status is why it’s even a conversation.
He also took a swipe at the current Cs core:
"This report notes that the Celtics could use some star help alongside the potent duo of star forwards/wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. The Celtics weren’t really able to live up to the hype in the past few seasons with the current core on hand."
I’d say coming within two games of the NBA Finals is living up to the hype for two under-25 stars leading the team in a post-Pandemic world in an isolated bubble on a deserted Disney World campus.
Either way, there’s smoke here, but don’t expect any flames unless Chicago flames out with all of their new offseason investments.