Following Monday's 108-103 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics are once again below .500 at 15-16. Dating back to the start of the 2020-21 season, the Celtics are 52-53.
What is the best path forward for the franchise at this point?
On the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, ESPN Front Office Insider Bobby Marks joins Chris Forsberg to analyze the options for first-year President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens, who is contending with many variables -- including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic -- as he tries to steer the team back on the right trajectory with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
"You want to hang on as long as you can," Marks said, noting that a quick 8-2 stretch over their next 10 games could put them right in line with the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls atop the Eastern Conference standings.
But continuing along as a .500 team or worse, which the Celtics have given no indication they aren't, runs risks of its own.
"I don't know if I see one move where I'm like 'wow, this team, on paper, looks like it could be a top-three team,'" Marks said.
Marks and Forsberg discuss the potential addition of a piece such as Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers or Damontas Sabonis from the Indiana Pacers, and how that could change the calculus for Boston.
"It's such a point guard-driven league," Marks said. "Every team that's a contending team has a high-level guard... That would be my primary focus."
Also discussed in the episode: Should the Celtics sell high on Dennis Schroder? Marks and Forsberg take a look at Brad Stevens' moves thus far in his new role, including the decisions to extend Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III, and what those mean moving forward.