CelticsBlog's Noa Dalzell was able to speak with the Boston Celtics' last-minute non-guaranteed offseason signing Lamar Stevens; who had strong words of praise for both head coach Joe Mazzulla and President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens.
Regarding Mazzulla, Lamar Stevens described him as a player-friendly coach in both a personal sense, and in the sense that he has his players prepared for their opponents. Hence the league-best record as of this writing.
"His honesty – just how real he is with the players," Stevens told Dalzell. "He talks about issues before they actually become issues. He just addresses them head-on. He’s always just thinking one step ahead, he’s not just in the moment. He’s thinking about two or three different ways that somebody might guard an action, or how they might guard this action in the playoffs, stuff like that. He’s always one step ahead of our opponents. That’s been huge for us to have the success that we’ve had."
Lamar then lauded the roster-building the current President of Basketball Operations/former Celtics and Butler head coach did this past offseason to put together the current group.
"Brad did a great job putting the right group of guys around each other, that enjoy coming to work, that enjoy getting better, that put winning at the forefront of everything," Lamar Stevens prefaced before saying, "It’s definitely a unique team. It’s really cool to be a part of, for everyone to put that pride to the side."
Lamar Stevens likely to have Boston Celtics contract guaranteed by January 10
Of the Cs with non-guaranteed contracts, Stevens is among the likeliest to have his contract guaranteed by January 10. Dalano Banton, despite having a less-than-stellar shooting slash, offers enough intrigue as a lengthy guard to stick as well.
Luke Kornet's case is less clear given his injury issues this season and long-term defensive woes. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk practically has no case at all given his primary value (3-point shooting) is at career-low levels in 2023-24.