The Main Celtics Takeaway From The Kevin Durant Drama Is That When Brad Stevens Talks, You Should Probably Listen
I think most would agree that when it comes to the Brad Stevens era as the man running the Boston Celtics, one thing is abundantly clear.
He is not Danny Ainge.
Not just because Brad doesn't give a flying fuck about 1st round picks or ma,ybe even slightly overpaying in a trade if it brings in a player that helps, but because it doesn't seem like we get the same sort of posturing from Brad that we did from Danny. When Ainge spoke, you had to read between the lines to figure out what the hell he was talking about. You basically couldn't trust anything he said.
But with Brad? Perhaps it's time we actually listen to what he says and take him at his word because the man has yet to lie to us. This is clear as day when it comes to Kevin Durant. Now that the trade drama is officially over with Durant staying in Brooklyn, I would like to remind you all about something I blogged when the Woj/Shams reports first leaked at the end of July. Brad had legit been telling anyone who was willing to hear what his plan was for this team, regardless of what leverage the Nets tried to create.
Just listen (go to around 4:42 in the first one)
"So when we add, we gotta make sure that we're adding without taking away"
Look at the dates of those tweets. Brad said that shit a million times right in the middle of all the KD drama and I feel like there was this idea that he was lying or not telling the whole truth or whatever people wanted to spin in order to keep the KD drama alive. He was flat out telling us on completely separate occasions that he was not about to gut his team or make major subtractions in order to add. It's why the timing of everything was also so important and something I mentioned in every blog about this topic. The order of operations matters with this kind of stuff.
Well now that this topic is officially dead and buried, Brad once again was ready and willing to speak openly about it.
“Since the Brogdon trade, we felt really good about our team,” Stevens told Merloni, Fauria and Mego on WEEI Tuesday in an appearance during the station’s Jimmy Fund fundraiser. “We felt really good about building around these guys that we’ve been building around, trying to accentuate our best players.”
Stevens added: ”We’re excited to move forward with our team and that’s really been our focus for a while. You say it’s been busy and there’s been a lot of talk but it hasn’t been from me. Hopefully, it gave everyone something to talk about. It’s been pretty quiet on our front for a while now.”
Reports surfaced last month that Boston had in trade talks involving Durant with Jaylen Brown being the centerpiece of any possible deal. However, Stevens said he’s been in contact with one of Boston’s top stars through the entire summer amid a flurry of reports on Durant trade talks in recent weeks.
“Of course,” Stevens said of whether he’s been in contact with Brown. “Jaylen’s been through this from the standpoint of listening and the noise has been around him for a long time, big names over the years. I think one of the things you have to be able to do is ignore the noise and know what’s important. Also, be able to reach out and have candid and transparent communications with the people involved. We’ve had those and been very open from the get-go as all of this has been going on for any of our guys. I sat down with Jaylen last week in LA. He looked great and he will be back to Boston soon.”
I get how exciting trade rumors can be, especially when Shams/Woj are throwing around "reports" from "sources" and all that stuff. I don't even think they made that stuff up, I think that's what the Nets were feeding them so obviously they reported it. But again, all you had to do was listen to Brad. Once it got to the point where the Celts probably felt they had to do their own leaking to the media, we got the Mark Murphy, Steve Bulpett and Adam Himmelsbach reports about how this was pretty much all smoke. Turns out, they were right because it probably came from Brad himself who as we just saw, was telling us back in mid July that there was nothing to even worry about.
It's not even just the KD rumors either. Brad said after the season that he wanted to find shooting and playmaking to add to this roster. What did he do? He brought in Malcolm Brogdon and Gallinari. He also drafted JD Davison who had the best passing numbers of any point guard in all of Summer League. Brad tells us what he's going to do and then he does it. If he has something big up his sleeve in terms of a trade or a signing, nobody has the leak. How many leaks did you see about that Brogdon deal? Zero. Who had the early reporting on the Derrick White trade at the deadline? Pretty much nobody. Don't you find it interesting that there was a certain leak reported with the Nets that ultimately didn't happen? That feels….odd to me.
It's going to take some adjusting from all of us because we are so used to Ainge pretty much lying to our faces or not being blatantly honest with how he intends to run the team. That is not the case with Brad and I have to admit, it's refreshing. The man hasn't lied to us yet, so remember that the next time there are Celts rumors flying around. Just go see what Brad says about it and then put your stock in that.