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Washburn: Brad Stevens has Celtics in win-now mode

Boston’s deadline deals show that Stevens is about the present rather than the future

Toronto Raptors v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

With their blowout win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics notched their ninth victory in a row. Just over two weeks ago they were a .500 team, and now they sit at 34-26 on the season.

While the win streak began before the trade deadline, the moves Brad Stevens made have certainly helped, too. Stevens shipped off some expiring deals and one of Boston’s younger prospects in exchange for “win-now” players.

On the latest episode of the A List Podcast on CLNS Media, Gary Washburn gave his thoughts on Boston’s deadline deals and the direction Stevens is taking the Celtics. So far, he has no complaints.

“I’m impressed with what they’ve done,” Washburn told co-hosts A-Sherrod Blakely and Kwani A. Lunis. “The addition of Derrick White, we’ll see how that develops. Nothing but thumbs up in terms of what they’ve been able to do. Take care of business, not fancy, but just doing their job.”

Washburn keyed in on the fact that Stevens traded Romeo Langford. He spoke about the forward-facing mentality of the move, giving up on such a young player so early on.

“I think that the fact that Brad gave up a guy less than three years into his career just shows you that, hey, you gotta get it done in Boston. We’re not hanging onto you forever. We’re gonna admit our mistakes.”

Through his first few years in Boston, Langford averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds, shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 30.5 percent from deep. Langford only appeared in 94 games in two and a half years with the Celtics.

The way Washburn sees it, this move signals that Stevens is all about the present. With White’s long-term contract, Washburn believes that Stevens’ main priority is winning games right now and building a reliable core in Boston.

“This move shows that Brad is about right now and Brad’s about getting it done. And the fact is, Derrick White just signed a four-year extension. So he has three more years left on his deal and you have him there for a while.”

Taking it a step further, Washburn noted that Stevens is focused on adding players that can help immediately. The era of waiting for first-round picks to develop may be over in Boston.

“He’s tired of these mid-first-round picks. He’s tired of the Nesmiths, he’s tired of the Romeos, he’s tired of these guys. He wants somebody that can come in and get it done right away.”