In some ways, yesterday still feels like a bit of a fever dream. Once Adam Himmelsbach told us on Saturday that the Celts were alive in the Jrue Holiday Sweepstakes but that there was still a significant gap, I feel like most of us expected Sunday to come with the news that ultimately the deal fell apart.
I'm not sure what that "significant gap" was, but everyone worked through it, and the next thing we knew we had a Woj bomb on our phones telling us that Brad pulled the trigger on another massive trade. Look, whether you think Brad's decisions and moves this summer were the right way to go or not, the one thing that nobody can argue is the fact that he has gigantic testicles. He's not afraid to "go for it" if he feels like a potential move brings them closer to getting over the hump and winning that ever-elusive 18th banner.
It may work out, it may not. There are positives and negatives to consider. There's risk. But ownership has told Brad he has clearance to spend whatever it took to build a winner and he clearly has the stones to make severe and drastic changes.
So while yesterday may still seem like a dream, it is in fact real. It really happened. Part of why I was so interested in today's Media Day is because I wanted to hear Brad talk about this potentially franchise altering trade. I feel like he's usually way more open and honest than Ainge ever was in these situations, and today was a perfect example
This situation is pretty much exactly why smart front offices and smart GMs want assets and flexibility. You never know what opportunity might come your way, and if it's something you feel like can get you over the hump, you need to pounce on it. It's pretty obvious that was the situation here, mostly because Brad told us. I'm fairly certain they did not enter this offseason thinking that Jrue Holiday could potentially become the newest member of the Boston Celtics, but it's also not surprising they were interested once he hit the market. There were the rumblings of being interested back in 2020 when he was in NO, and he does fit the mold of the type of defensive minded combo guards that Brad clearly loves.
Said another way
Look, while I think most of us what have been thrilled with the Brogon + every bench piece package in a trade for Jrue Holiday, that wasn't realistic. I always thought that if it came to moving one of the bigs in a deal like this, the Celts would eventually back away given he injury risk and depth of their current frontcourt. Nope. Wrong. Dead ass wrong.
But you can also tell how tough it was for Brad to pull the trigger. Nobody knows about his growth and development more than Brad, and I obviously don't think Rob was being moved for a guy who Brad felt did not move the needle enough. To have to make that call to both Smart and Rob in the same offseason is brutal, but it's why Brad gets paid the big bucks. This is all on him and he owns it.
I also found what he said about Brogdon interesting. Basically confirming that not only was Brogdon pissed, but that he felt Malcolm probably had the right to be. I figured he would have just dodged that stuff now that he's not on the team anymore, but like I said Brad can't help but be honest with stuff like this.
At the end of the day, this is all that matters. Wyc clearly understands that. Brad is acting accordingly, and now it's on the players (and Joe) to step up and do their part. The owner and the GM have brought in the talent. They've added to the coaching staff with legit assistants. They have assets to continue to address needs as the season goes on.
So yeah, the pressure is on, and then some. You can't make all these moves and still come up short.
They say scared money doesn't make money, and the 2023-24 Celtics season is in a lot of ways the perfect definition of that saying. The Celts have clearly put their all their chips on the table, made franchise-altering trades and now all we can do is hope it all works out.