Brad Stevens faces a unique challenge this offseason, but he has a clear mindset about how to attack it.
Stevens is just two weeks into his role as Celtics president of basketball operations after eight seasons as Boston's head coach. He's hit the ground running, too, trading Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder last Friday in a deal involving Al Horford and Moses Brown.
Stevens' other pressing matter is finding a new head coach, and considering his experience in that role -- only three coaches have coached more games in Boston than Stevens -- it's worth wondering whether he'll be hands-on with his replacement.
The new executive plans to stay out of the way of whoever he hires, though.
"The one thing that I should be good at is supporting the head coach and not being involved," Stevens said Monday in a video conference. "My door’s open, but I do not want to be anything but supportive.
"I’ve told everybody I’ve talked to in a weird, kind of a messed-up way, I’m looking forward to the first time we lose and I can walk in there and put my arm around them and say, ‘I’ve lost a ton here. Let’s go get a coffee, let’s go grab a beer. It’s OK. It’s part of a long journey.’ I think I’m looking forward to that, just being supportive and staying out it from a coaching perspective."
Stevens will have plenty of conversations with his new head coach -- the Celtics reportedly are focused on three front-runners -- and strategy undoubtedly will come up in those conversations. But he's at least cognizant of not overstepping his bounds and giving the new head coach space to do their job.
One benefit Stevens has as a coach-turned-GM is an open line of communication with his players, and it sounds like he's used it by keeping in touch with young All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on a regular basis.
"I’ve stayed in close contact," Stevens said. "I talked to several of the guys right after (the trade) and have been in very close contact throughout the past couple of weeks with both Jaylen and Jayson specifically, but that’s not unusual."
Stevens' biggest challenge outside finding a new coach is building a solid roster around Tatum and Brown. While it's unclear how much Stevens discussed the Walker trade with his two franchise cornerstones, Celtics fans should be pleased that he's actively talking to Tatum and Brown as he reshapes the roster ahead of next season.