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Wyc Grousbeck to Brad Stevens: “‘just tell us who you want’”

Wyc Grousbeck, Governor of the Boston Celtics, spoke to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe on team expectations and willingness to dive into the luxury tax.

NBA: Playoffs-Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off their first Finals appearance since 2010, the Boston Celtics seem poised to be making another deep playoff run this season after retooling their roster. While the team will be without newly-signed Danilo Gallinari for the foreseeable future, the addition of Malcolm Brogdon is expected to bolster Boston’s backcourt to new heights. The trade to acquire Brogdon will be costly in terms of the luxury tax, but from all accounts, that doesn’t seem to phase Celtics ownership in the slightest.

In an interview with The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, Celtics Governor Wyc Grousbeck opened up about the team’s ownership and their belief in this Celtics roster. While Boston is coming off a Finals run, Grousbeck has done his best to temper expectations, mostly just due to recency bias.

“I really loved being part of the Celtics throughout that run. I loved being right there with them. It was thrilling. The other side of the coin is I think that we’ve now been overrated. I think that performance was a bit overrated in the public mind, or my own mind, because I’m the one saying it....There are probably five or six teams you could say are contending teams, and I definitely think we’re on that list ... But I’m cautious against being overconfident. And anyone who asks me what I think about the team, I’m saying I don’t want to overrate us.”

The Celtics Governor made sure to add that “I wouldn’t pick anybody ahead of us. But I don’t think we’ve got any smooth sailing ahead.” Grousbeck makes a fair point, as the Celtics had to survive a gauntlet of Brooklyn, Milwaukee, and Miami before going toe-to-toe with Golden State.

In order to move forward, Boston needed to look in the mirror and address their weaknesses. In conversations with President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens, Grousbeck made it loud and clear that ownership was giving the green light, and he reiterated them during his interview with Himmelsbach.

“Do whatever it takes to get better, because we weren’t good enough. So do whatever it takes to get better. And he boiled the ocean. He did everything he could think of to make us better....We are not worried about it. Just tell us who you want. When Brad puts together a roster, it’s put together on the basis of basketball. Let’s put it that way.”

Team ownership is putting their money where their mouth is, and the acquisition of Brogdon was a big step in proving that, as the move boosts their roster significantly as well as their tax bill. With Gallinari out of action for a while, the Celtics may have to sign more help to fill the void left by the veteran sharpshooter’s injury. Gallo was meant to provide some bench firepower and Al Horford relief, and now Boston needs to work out how exactly they plan to make up for his absence. Needless to say, Grousbeck is aware of where the team stands.

“I think we’re spending about $200 million on the roster this year, and Brad has the green light to spend more. People can write or think whatever they want. Or, you can actually look at what we do, which is do whatever we possibly can to win a championship. And we’re in the mode right now of completely adding on. Are you going to trade future draft picks and young players under 30? Hopefully not. But money is not a consideration whatsoever, and this roster shows that.”

With the void of Gallinari needing to be filled, Brad and Wyc will certainly be mulling things over as they do their best to push Boston back to the NBA Finals. Be sure to give the rest of the interview a read, as Grousbeck fields questions on the luxury tax, roster moves, Jayson Tatum’s development, and navigating all of the trade rumors surrounding the team during the Durant saga.

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