June 20, 2022 | 5:23 am EDT Update
One coaching candidate sure to interest Danny Ainge as he launches a search for Quin Snyder’s replacement is Brad Stevens … but it’s difficult in the extreme to see anyone luring Stevens back to coaching in the short term given how well Stevens’ team-building efforts are going in Boston as the Celtics’ rookie president of basketball operations.
Some players they could pursue with their trade exceptions include Will Barton, Dillon Brooks, and former Celtic Marcus Morris. The Celtics have all their future first-round picks to offer going forward, and they’ve shown a willingness to trade them when they traded one for Horford and another for White since Stevens took over.
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Overall, though, Brown’s development has been critical for this era of Celtics basketball. Deciding not to exchange him for Butler, Paul George or Kawhi Leonard (three forwards now in their 30s who’ve all changed teams more than once since Brown entered the league) was an intentional bet on upside and maximizing the organization’s potential number of championship runs (as opposed to amplifying a shorter window). Trade speculation lingered into this season, when Brown’s seemingly incongruous fit beside Jayson Tatum was placed under a microscope. There were even whispers about shipping him to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons, which Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens immediately dismissed.
“I think the organization has known the type of ability that I’ve had for a long time; even when casual fans thought they were crazy for not trading me for X, Y and Z, Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens knew,” Brown, now 25, says. “They seen me every single day, knew what I was capable of. Not to say I’m anywhere close to those guys yet, but I’m continuing to work and I’m excited that we’re here in the Finals now, going through this journey.”