Wing Or Big? With Two Days To Go Until The Trade Deadline Brad Stevens Faces One Of His Most Important Decisions As The Boss

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In June, Brad Stevens brought us behind the curtain for their thought process on trading back a million times during the NBA Draft, and why that was so important

Well folks, welcome to the Trade Deadline. That sure was a quick 7ish months if you ask me, and the time has come for us all to constantly refresh our timelines even though everyone already should have their notifications on. Given the new CBA rules and where the Celts currently are, this is it. The team is only going to have so many swings to improve the roster moving forward, and if there's one thing we know about Brad is that if the right deal is there, he's not afraid to pounce.

The question isn't so much "if" Brad should do something, but instead "what" should he even do?

This usually comes down to narrowing things down by position. For this team, I think it's pretty obvious the debate is Wing vs Big. I think debating names is silly because as fans we have no idea who is or isn't available, but when it comes to position of need, I think there's much more meat on that bone.

Not to sound dramatic, but this is arguably one of the most important decisions of Brad's tenure in terms of in season upgrades/roster decisions. I don't think it's crazy to be nervous about the frontcourt health, and prefer Brad find a reserve big. It's also not crazy to look at the roster and think they maybe need an additional shot creating wing. Brad himself did say he was sort of looking for a big wing

That was a month ago, so what have we seen since?

The biggest fork in the road for this week in my opinion continues to be Neemias Queta. These last few weeks have seen Queta play about 10 minutes a night as a reserve big, a role that he's shown some flashes in. Given he's on a Two Way contract, what the team decides with him is what I think will dictate what Brad does. 

If they feel like he's shown enough to be a 4th center, they should guarantee his deal and use their TPE/picks to bring in that wing talent.

If they feel like they need a more proven veteran big for a "break the glass in case of emergency" moment in the playoffs, they should use the assets on a big.

The question Brad has to answer is if an available big on the market is a better fit than what Queta has shown. If not, then just guarantee his deal.

Personally, I change my mind on this every day as someone who sees both sides and the appeal of each. I guess at the end of the day it matters who the players are, but the more I sit on it the more I think the path needs to be Queta + an outside wing. 

I think a lot about what Brad has always said when it comes to building this roster. Every single decision they make has to accentuate their best players. Well, we already know what a non-shooting threat wing does in lineups next to the Jays. It allows the defense to completely ignore that player and hedge into the paint to cut off drives for the two best players. As fun as Brissett is and as impactful as an energy guy as he is, his lack of shooting will be exploited by playoff defenses thus making it harder for the best players.

When it comes to Sam Hauser, he provides the spacing, there's no doubt about that. But he's a C&S guy. I think there's value in finding a wing player who brings a different dimension than both Brissett/Hauser. Someone who can score, but also generate their own shot. That way, in games where maybe Hauser is struggling, they can go to a reserve wing and still keep things tough on an opposing defense in terms of needing to respect that player's offense. 

The overall point is this. Brad has to pick the right path. You only get so many swings at a time when your roster is truly a title contender, and there aren't going to be too many opportunities to add a player who isn't a minimum contract moving forward. That's why I put so much importance on these next two days.

In 2008, the PJ Brown signing (not a trade but same shit) proved to be pretty important. Nothing crazy on paper, but a move that everyone was sure glad that Ainge made once we got to the playoffs. That's how I view things now. There may not be a "needle mover" based on name recognition, but you don't want to get to the playoffs and look back at a time where you had a chance to add, and didn't.

Whether that's a big or a wing will be answered in the next 48 hours, and it's times like these that we all need to remember to trust in Brad. He hasn't led us astray yet, but he needs to nail this one too.