As Celtics Strive for Banner 18, Brad Stevens Seeks Players Who Will Build Off Foundation Laid Last Year

The Celtics managed one of the most dramatic turnarounds in NBA history during the season, from under-.500 not even qualifying for the Eastern Conference play-in tournament to back-to-back wins by winning the NBA title.

Now they have to figure out how to get over that hump. They’ve already weathered the luxury tax for next season and it would be amazing if that changed. This limits what they can achieve freehand. Also, the acquisition of Derrick White leaves Boston without a first-round pick in Thursday’s draft. In a 60-man draft, the Celtics aren’t on the clock except for one trade until the No. 53 overall pick is reached.

However, Boston has a variety of trade exemptions and the $6.3 mid-level taxpayer exemption. Not all of the former are used. But specifically, the $17.1 million trade exception created in the sign-and-trade that sent Evan Fournier to the Knicks, a TPE the Celtics wanted to keep when White took over at the close Boston’s efforts are helping strengthen its roster.

In discussing the role the Celtics’ traded player exceptions will play in the roster retooling, Brad Stevens, president of basketball operations, said, “We’ve got a lot of that. You balance the costs and what does the player you add bring in against what does he take away. But we go through the whole list to find people who fill what we need and how they fit in.

Stevens also conveyed how important it is for the Celtics to find players that fit their identity and fill the required roles for this team.

“It’s not about blindly finding talent. It’s about putting a team together. We’ve done that pretty well this year. I think we can start running next season because now we have a foundation and we understand , who we are.” as a team.”

It helps that as the Celtics look to expand their roster, Stevens says, “We have the okay (from the owner) to do whatever we have to do.”

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