Now is not the time for idleness if you are Brad Stevens. The Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations has built a roster capable of coming from Banner 18 within two games through the work he has done in his first year as head of the Cs front office.
Stevens’ work began just over a year ago when he traded Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder – he was subsequently fired and signed to the New York Knicks – in his first move as substitution manager – to bring back Al Horford. Without Horford, there will be no Eastern Conference championship banner hanging in the rafters of the TD Garden this winter and into the future. Stevens’ first foray into the merchant market was a success.
The other moves Stevens made during the offseason, including trading for Josh Richardson and signing Dennis Schroder, set the stage for deals with trade deadlines that would see indispensable postseason reserve Derrick White and admirable Eastern Conference quarterfinalist , Robert Williams III, Daniel Theis would bring in.
Throughout Stevens’ career as a front office manager, there has been a noticeable lack of complacency. The core Danny Ainge left him when he left the Boston Celtics in June 2021 was elite, but the supporting cast around them still have and need work.
Luckily, Boston should be busy this offseason with the recent news regarding their luxury tax bill. Namely, according to Spotrac’s Keith Smith, the fact that they won’t be paying any after everyone’s salary figures are settled:
In fact, after revising some incentive information, the Boston Celtics just snuck under the luxury tax for 2021-22.
Sorry for the confusion yesterday. Bonuses can be difficult to calculate.
Boston currently still plans to be a taxpayer in 2022-23, so not much is changing there.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 18, 2022
The Boston Celtics are given the green light to be aggressive in the 2022 offseason
Armed with the exception of traded players created by Evan Fournier’s sign-and-trade to the New York Knicks last offseason, the Boston Celtics have an opportunity to improve without giving much in return. An unwanted contract in their current squad, like Terrence Ross or Derrick Favors could be an easy addition to an untouched squad.
Without an imposing repeat offender tax to stall them – the repeat offender tax rate starts at a staggering $2.50/dollar salary and then climbs to $2.75, $3.50 and $4.25 for every additional 5M $5 million over the line, with 50 cents for each additional addition, a $5 million fee will be charged, according to NY Daily News — Boston is in prime position to be aggressive this offseason.
Stevens, sitting on his hands with a contender right on the doorstep of the Larry O’Brien Trophy this offseason, would be the fatal mistake pundits are looking back on should Jaylen Brown and/or Jayson Tatum one day decide a new home to want.