SAN FRANCISCO — One year agoWyc Grousbeck & Steve Pagliuca made an unorthodox move. They made their winning coach a rookie team president, and then they replaced him with another rookie coach.
Anyone who was present on the dais when Brad Stevens' move to elevate Brad Stevens took place — June 2, 2021 — would have known that just 365 days later, the Celtics would win the 2022 NBA Finals 120-108.They would have found it difficult to believe. This included He is the one who has built the foundations of a team that is just three wins from winning a championship.
Stevens, the Celtics former coach and executive, and his moves since accepting the shocking promotion are both remarkable and sublime.
There are many reasons why the Celtics assembled a five month rally that saw them chase their first title since 14 years. However, Stevens' moves of the past year have brought about immediate and huge returns.
• He hired Ime Udoka as his replacement, betting on the longtime assistant's history of learning underGregg Popovich continued his coaching career in Philadelphia and Brooklyn as an assistant coach. Udoka's combination of tough love and his ability to build the team's resilience was exactly what the younger players needed. Udoka was able to reach the team in a way Stevens couldn't and has unleashed the Celtics' potential.
This was not exactly what we wanted.Red Auerbach's replacement, Stevens was unable to take equity in his job. Stevens gambled on his successor's hiring.
Udoka remarked on how things are working out.
“We discuss every situation [Stevens has] He has been through it all and he is willing to lend his support. Let me do my job, but also take a step back. It's been a great help in this unique situation.
•Guard For center . This was the first sign that things were going to change in Boston. The Celtics acknowledged that Walker signing a four-year max contract for 2019 was a mistake, and let Horford walk. The team was hurt in that offseason.
Stevens sent No. 16 a first-round selection. The deal was done last year by Stevens, who sent No. 16 as a first-round draft pick. This would not have been Ainge's typical move. He preferred to hoard picks to either use on developmental players or to lure a star. The flawed process of Ainge was not what it took to make the team great. It was the players he drafted that have proven their worth. However, Horford was a 35 year-old role player at the time. Stevens made Horford a priority and it was a marked departure from other priorities.
Both during the season as well as in the playoffs, this move has been a big plus. Horford has been a hero multiple times in the postseason, including on Thursday with his 26-point performance.
• Stevens signed centerYou can also visit our website at It can be worth as much as $54 million with bonuses. At the time, the transaction was viewed as a stretch as Williams had been plagued in injuries and played a limited role during his first three years of career.
Williams quickly earned the trust of the team and was named to the All-Defensive Team. He's been through injury but has also been an integral part of the Game 1 win, playing a key role in blocking four shots and being a lob threat at the rim.
• At his first trade deadline in February, Stevens executed an aggressive move by trading a first-round draft pick and a future pick swap with the Spurs for. Stevens, like Horford, went against the grain of Ainge's plan to invest future draft assets into a role-player.
White was a decent long-term signing worth $17million per year. White is known for being versatile and a skilled defender. This is combined with the option to trade awayStevens signed an offseason contract, but it didn't go according to plan. He quickly dealt with the mistake and was able to move on. To serve as the Celtics' primary guard and provide a perfect combination guard off the bench.
Stevens stated that White was acquired because he believed White could be a valuable addition to the team. “And you know that they can be there and help you win.”
White has been a key contributor for the past two rounds. White had a great Finals debut, scoring 21 and making five 3-pointers.
All of it is a masterpiece for the Celtics' rookie president/rookie coach. Stevens came in sixth place in the Executive Of The Year voting, just behind Zach Kleiman.. This is an imperfect award. The true work often cannot be seen in one-season cycles. Kleiman's example shows how it can become an 18-month award.
At this point, the honor is irrelevant; the ultimate hardware will be close. Stevens' touch has made this possible.
It happens quickly.