The dust has finally settled from the huge Celtics shake- p with Danny Ainge retiring, and Brad Stevens taking his place as President of Basketball Operations. However, it did not take Stevens long to get started and make a big time splash with the Kemba Walker trade. The team and front office will now be able to have a new situation that entices a new head coach.
The transition from coach to a front office role will be interesting to watch and see. It might be a rocky transition for him, but these NBA Playoffs will be a good teaching moment for him learning from the teams still alive.
It has been said many times before, but this is a role Brad Stevens has never had. It will be a different way of thinking than the coach position. The Kemba Walker trade shows that he is ready to shake up the Celtics roster and try something new. He knows, at either position with the franchise, that the team needed some change if they plan to win a championship and Stevens looks to be ready to take the challenge head on.
Of the teams left in the playoffs, they all have two huge factors that contribute to their success: a head coach that can get the best out of their players and, of course, superior talent on the court. Stevens can focus on these two factors while he prepares for next season. This will first begin with the head coach search.
The head coach search for President Brad Stevens will be a huge move towards his success in his current role. There are some great candidates that have come available, and the Celtics will have to navigate through these to get the best option out there. As mentioned before, the best candidate will need to be the one who gets everything out of the talent on the roster the same way Stevens did as coach. Everyone is now watching Nate McMillian, who was fired by the Indiana Pacers, excel as the Atlanta Hawks coach. He is getting everything possible out of his roster going further than anyone thought the Hawks would go in these playoffs. McMillian understands the schemes that will best fit the talent on his roster and runs with it. This is exactly the mindset Brad Stevens will need to have in selecting their best option for coach.
The next factor for Stevens is putting together the best talent on the floor no matter the coach. This will be much harder than the coaching search. Stevens will now have to navigate around the cap hurdles and set backs whenever looking at possible future moves. Of course, he will have a great team around him, but this will be a different playbook to learn compared to the X’s and O’s he knows so well.
As mentioned before, the early signs Stevens knows what he wants to do is the Kemba Walker trade. This will free up cap space, so that they will have the flexibility to possibly add on a new name. They need to shake up the roster by adding new names that a new coach can groom from the start. Stevens could have been passive and kept it all the same while giving time to adjust to the role. Instead, it looks like he knows where he wants to take the roster by giving options when a possible deal or signing comes available.
All in all, at this point in the off-season, the specific names do not matter for head coach or for talent being added to the roster. What matters now for Stevens is that he takes in everything and learns from the rest of the league. The types of moves that worked, that did not work, and where the teams still alive are getting their success from. These will all be crucial in the maturation process of Brad Stevens as President of Basketball Operations. We all know he is a smart guy, so it will hopefully not take long before he makes the moves needed to make this team a contender once again.