3 Increasingly genius Brad Stevens moves that led to Celtics' title 18

The Celtics won banner number 18 behind Brad Stevens being bold.
Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens
Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics won their 18th championship in dominant fashion. They lost just three games in the playoffs after finishing 64-18 during the regular season. Jayson Tatum is just entering his prime, and Boston proved to be a historically great team throughout this run.

The Celtics had been close in recent years. They made it to the NBA Finals in 2022 before falling to the Warriors and had made five conference finals in seven years. The many close calls and heartbreaking losses had everyone doubting if Boston could finally pull it off. The Celtics offered a resounding answer and are primed to stay in contention for the foreseeable future.

Brad Stevens deserves plenty of credit for the Celtics championships. He could have kept the core together last summer. They were close, but the president of basketball operations was not satisfied. He got bold and these three moves made Boston champions again.

Stevens traded Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis

Marcus Smart was a key piece of this Celtics era. He was often mentioned as the heart and soul of the team. Behind Tatum and Brown, the pesky defender was the Celtics' best and most popular player. Celtics fans did not want to see Smart go, but Stevens knew they needed a big man.

KP’s ability to post up allowed Boston to play a different way, which was massive. Porzingis struggled to stay healthy, but he was a difference-maker in the NBA Finals. Having a 7’3 big man at the rim is a deterrent and his offensive game has made the Celtics unstoppable.

That bold trade might have been enough, but Stevens was far from done.

Celtics dumped Grant Williams to save money

Boston drafted Williams in the first round in 2019, and he quickly became a key rotation piece. During their 2022 NBA Finals run, the 6’6 wing averaged 8.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game. His defense was impactful, but the Celtics signed-and-trade him for three second-round picks.

Spending is an issue, especially with the new second tax apron kicking fully this summer. The Celtics wanted to save some money, but it forced them to part with a talented player. Boston felt one piece short after this move. Little did fans know, the missing piece was coming.

Stevens trading for Jrue Holiday secured the championship

The Celtics should not have been able to acquire Jrue Holiday. The two-time All-Star won a championship with the Bucks and was their starting point guard, but when Milwaukee got the chance to add Damian Lillard, it meant parting with Holiday. The 6’4 guard ended up in Portland and opened the door for Stevens and the Celtics.

There was zero hesitation in trading Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III, and two first-round draft picks to get Holiday. His stats decreased in Boston, but he was willing to fill any role. His stout perimeter defense was game-changing, and Holiday made several key plays throughout the playoffs. The Celtics do not win the championship without Jrue Holiday, and they have the Bucks to thank.

Brad Stevens deserves a ton of credit for being bold. The Boston Celtics won the championship on the back of these three moves. They had the best top six in the NBA all season and rode them to a championship. Banner 18 is here, and the Cs are primed to be elite for years to come.