Brad Stevens took the NBA by surprise in his second season as head coach of the Boston Celtics, coaching the team to a 40-42 record and a surprising playoff berth. The Celtics' roster was a revolving door of players and Stevens has been praised for getting the most out of his talent.
He finished fourth in the Coach of the Year voting, and Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge had some high praise for the 38-year-old coach.
"I wouldn’t have brought him in and given him a six-year contract if I didn’t think he was really good and special," Ainge said. "I’m the first one to see how special he was. It’s exciting for me everyone else is recognizing that. Brad is one of smartest coaches in the NBA. He’s learning the game, too. It's exciting for me that Brad is getting the accolades he’s getting, but we’ve always known that about Brad. It’s my opinion that in 10 or 20 years, we’ll be talking about Brad as one of the great coaches to ever coach in the NBA."
Anthony Davis' future was among the hot topics in Charlotte during the NBA's All-Star Weekend.
The New Orleans Pelicans center revealed during All-Star media availability Saturday that the Boston Celtics are on his list of acceptable trade destinations, contrary to reports before the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
The Celtics weren't able to trade for Davis before the deadline because of a league rule (explained here), but they presumably will get their chance to pull off a deal this summer.
Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving -- the team's lone All-Star Game participant -- was asked by The Athletic's Joe Vardon for his take on Davis' apparent change of heart on Boston, and the 26-year-old superstar didn't have much to say on the matter.
6. I asked Irving after Sunday’s game what he made of Davis’ adding of the Celtics to his list. “Oh, he did, did he?” Irving said. “I don’t think I have a comment on that right now.”
Irving figures to be a key piece in any Davis-to-Boston scenario. He can become an unrestricted free agent this summer and recently has been less adamant about re-signing in Boston than he was in October. If Irving re-signs with the C's, perhaps that would convince Davis that Boston is a good destination for him in 2019-20 and beyond. Davis isn't eligible for free agency until the summer of 2020. Irving and Davis, as Vardon and others have noted, also are friends.
It's going to be fascinating to see how the Davis drama plays out after the season, and if the Los Angeles Lakers get another chance to land him after a public failure to do so at the deadline. It's just another story in what figures to be an absolutely crazy summer that could see several marquee players switch teams.
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