And just like that, we're off!
The Kristaps Porzingis Celtics Era is officially underway after this introductory presser this afternoon, and just like any time this team or Brad steps in front of the mic it's time to talk about what the hell they said and what it could mean moving forward. I'm not going to sit here and tell you it wasn't weird as hell seeing Porzingis holding up a Celts jersey and standing next to Brad and Joe, the whole thing is going to take a couple of minutes to get used to. It's going to be even stranger to see him actually in the uniform, but we'll deal with that in September/October.
With that said, let's dive in
Pretty boiler plate stuff here. I'm not sure what anyone expected Porzingis to say to that question but the one thing I do think matters is what he said about helping Tatum and Brown while making their lives easier. That my friends, is the crux of this entire trade/experiment. Everything Brad does when it comes to putting this roster together is to maximize Tatum and Brown. He knows it, they know it, we know it, and Porzingis knows it. Add in who he was traded for, and there's definitely pressure to see it on the floor, but there's no reason to think that outside of health that can't happen.
Let's not dance around it. This is exactly what Brad and the team considers Porzingis. It's why they made the trade. When we look back on this trade there's really only one way to evaluate it. Did the Celtics win the title at any point of his tenure? If yes? Great trade. If no? Well, this could be a legacy defining trade for Brad and not in a good way.
Another ECF appearance is a failure. Another Finals appearance is a failure. Just like it was last season. You make a move like this in the current window you have to contend, it's about winning it. The Celts didn't make this trade to get back to the Finals. They could have done that as is. This was a trade to win it, and that will be the only measure of success that matters. It's good that Porzingis realizes that heading in, because now is not the time to fuck around.
This was obviously the part of the presser that went most "viral or whatever. Hearing it in context makes it no so bad, but I can understand if you were a fan listening to that and then were a little concerned. Honestly, outside of health, it's probably the biggest question of this trade. You're losing someone who had been through every postseason situation you can imagine. Huge road playoff elimination games, Game 7s, everything. There are 108 games of playoff experience being replaced with a guy that has 10 career playoff games under his belt.
The fact is, we don't know how he's going to react to a huge playoff game for this team. You never know with anyone until they actually do it. That's not just a Porzingis thing, that's an every NBA player thing. Some guys turn out to be regular season players, others turn out to be 16 game players. Just look at Jamal Murray for example. He gets into the postseason and is completely built for the moment. We didn't know that until he did it. That's the calculated risk that the Celts are taking.
You had to know this was coming and there's not much more to say about Smart's tenure that I haven't already blogged. Instead, everyone should watch this awesome tribute video from Timi the GOAT
If there's one thing you can say about Brad, it's that since the day he took over this job he's been about one thing. Winning. Remember when he traded Kemba like 30 seconds after he took over? He may be midwestern nice, but Brad is sneaky ruthless while operating with balls of steel. I mean Danny Ainge couldn't even bring himself to trade Smart. All I can say is that Brad has shown us that he will do whatever the hell he can to follow what he thinks the right vision is in order to build a team that won't just contend, but will win the whole thing. While some of his moves may be hard to accept at times, there is a level of comfort knowing that Brad's trade history is rock solid. What was the last trade he lost?
The second video is what I care more about though. I'm just gong to be honest. It's very confusing that one day smart people tell me and my moron brain that the Celts have no money and can't do shit, and then Brad comes out here and says ownership has given them the greenlight to add MORE money to the books. Basically this tells me that nobody outside of Brad/Zarren have any idea what the Celts can and cannot do and we all just have to wait to see the plan.
You hear that even if guys like Grant get a $10M offer in RFA they won't be able to match, but they can add money? Is it more "add money for stars/really good players" and not "add more money for Grant"? I guess that would make some sense. Wyc is down to spend, but not for anyone and everyone. As long as he backs it up (which he has up until this point), I suppose that's a good thing. Now we just have to wait and see what those additions are.
Said another way
"We've seen enough tape of the Miami Heat zone ruining out lives and costing us chances at a title, so now we have a counter".
Let's not forget what Brad said about a week ago when it came to this
There will be growing pains of course, just like there is whenever you add a new main offensive piece like this. The goal obviously is to be a well-oiled machine come the Spring. There's also some pressure here on Joe as well. He has to make sure his approach and system now fit a type of player that the Celtics did not have on the roster last year. Sure it's awesome to talk about how great Porzingis is in all these different aspects of an offense, but you know, you actually have to utilize it. Now with a beefed-up staff and a year under his belt, Joe has to be on top of his shit from Day 1 when it comes to getting the most out of Porzingis and having him in the right spots with the right usage.
All I know is Summer League cannot get here soon enough because it means we're one step closer to training camp which means we're one step closer to preseason games which means we're one step closer to the real deal. There's certainly no turning back, so now we just pray it all works out.