NBC Sports

Forsberg: Stevens has a clear philosophy for remaining roster moves

NBC Sports
Brad Stevens

While the Boston Celtics still have the assets to aid another potential summer splash, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens sounded content Tuesday to tidy up on the fringes and see if a boosted bench is enough to help the team secure the banner that slipped through his team's fingers last month.

After introducing offseason additions Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, Stevens said he feels good about the state of the team with a few open spots to fill on the back end of the bench.

“There may be a positional need or two that we have to add, and we've got several people we're looking at to do that,” said Stevens. “We have to add without taking away … I think that we are in a good place, depth-wise. 

"If we head into the season with this group, plus an add or two that helps us navigate, with a full roster, all the ups and downs from an injury standpoint of the season, I feel really good about what this group can accomplish."

A few more takeaways from our chat with Stevens after Tuesday’s introductions:

Using a big chunk of the Fournier TPE seems unlikely

The Celtics have until July 18 to use the $17.1 million Evan Fournier trade exception. But after the big splurge to add Brogdon, and with a payroll that’s already $20 million over the tax line, it feels unlikely that Boston would use more than a small chunk of that TPE before it vaporizes.

 

Stevens insisted the team had the OK from ownership to spend if it meant adding the right player but also noted the potential to use other available TPEs later in the season.

Stevens repeatedly stressed a desire to add without taking away, which seemingly makes it unlikely that Boston would want to send out rotational pieces to facilitate any sort of grand addition.

Chris Forsberg

"I think the bottom line is, and obviously we have not only a trade exception now but trade exceptions that we can use again towards the trade deadline, and that's all about just finding the right deal,” said Stevens. "If it's the right trade to be made, we have the green light to do that.”

Stevens repeatedly stressed a desire to add without taking away, which seemingly makes it unlikely that Boston would want to send out rotational pieces to facilitate any sort of grand addition.

The Celtics could ponder using a tiny slice of the TPE to acquire another body if they didn’t like available free agents on a minimum contract. 

Seeking big man help but high on Kornet

Despite stating a desire for more frontcourt depth, Stevens made sure to note that the Celtics are high on Luke Kornet, the 7-foot-2 floor-stretcher who has spent parts of the past two seasons with the team.

“We've been really high on Luke,” said Stevens. "We thought he had a terrific G League season and we think that he can step right in and be a passer, a ball handler, a mover, a screener, and a roller when need be.

“We’ll probably add one more person that can play in that area. But we're really believing in Luke as not only depth -- he can obviously fill out the roster -- but also be ready to help us and help us win. I think he's at that stage where he can do that.

But we're still looking and we'll still add at least one more body at whatever we call the five position nowadays.”

Celtics Talk: Meet the new guys: Exclusive interviews with Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari (and Brad Stevens) | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Stevens was quick to note how, with the additions of Brogdon and Gallinari, the Celtics have avenues to play more small-ball lineups without really sacrificing size overall.

"We'll continue to look at, again, what adds to our team,” said Stevens. “I think, ultimately, though we started big most of last year with Al [Horford] and Rob [Williams III], we often times would play one of them.

"I think we're better set up to play smaller than we were, just because of the size of [Brogdon and Gallinari] and we've got a lot of different options there.”

Rest up for the new season

There are other things on Stevens’ offseason to-do list, including investigating potential extensions for Grant Williams and Jaylen Brown, but there’s plenty of time to go down the road.

 

In the bigger picture, Stevens wants all of his players and staff to decompress a bit from last season and enjoy the break. While he’s eager to see how this new group looks, Stevens wants everyone to catch their breath first.

More importantly, he wants the team to come back ready for another long trek.

“It'll be good to take a deep breath, knowing that we want to go on another long run, and we have a team that's capable of doing that,” said Stevens. “But nothing's guaranteed. It’s going to be really hard.”