Brad Stevens displays on a outstanding Celtics season and appears forward to the subsequent one

“You simply search for issues that take advantage of sense inside your group,” he stated. “I believe now we have to stroll a advantageous line a bit of bit. I believe groups are fragile. I believe the best way groups work collectively and function collectively are fragile. And I believe your identification as a crew — once you discover one which’s profitable, which we did this yr on the defensive finish of the ground and after we had been at our greatest sharing the ball offensively — these issues are fragile.

“So simply so as to add doesn’t suggest that you just’re not taking one thing away from the group. And to alter vital items within the group doesn’t suggest which may not completely take your identification and shift it in a route that is not as profitable. And so it is fairly a advantageous line.”

Stevens stated the Celtics would look so as to add items the place the match appears excellent, pulling levers with their $6.3 million taxpayer’s mid-level exception, or their commerce exceptions. However he harassed that some increase may come from inside. This season, for instance, Payton Pritchard stepped right into a extra vital function following some February trades and have become a vital bench piece.

“I consider in a few the fellows that did not get an opportunity to play as a lot, that they’ll proceed to enhance and be knocking on that door quickly,” Stevens stated.

Stevens didn’t single out second-year wing Aaron Nesmith by identify, however definitely appeared to be referencing him. After promising moments as a rookie, Nesmith took a step again this season and fell out of the rotation. Nonetheless, the crew values ​​his hustle and protection his and believes he can regain his capturing contact.

The commerce exceptions

Commerce exceptions all the time sound a bit juicier than they really are. The exceptions, which expire one yr after they’re created, enable groups to amass gamers with out sending out matching wage in return.

The Celtics have a set of them, together with three notable ones valued at $17.1 million, $9.7 million, and $6.9 million. The biggest exception, which was created after they traded Evan Fournier to the Knicks final summer season, expires in late July.

“They’re all affordable quantities that we will take good gamers in with,” Stevens stated, “so that you stability that on, OK, what’s the price that you will should pay? Are you going to convey anyone in that is going so as to add to [your roster]? Not essentially take away, which you clearly do not wish to do.

“So it is nonetheless about being prudent and considerate about what the deal is. However we’re going by way of the entire record and we’re looking for guys that match what we’d like and can match into how we wish to play and the way Ime [Udoka] desires to teach and makes it in order that this prepare can take off from the get-go subsequent yr.”

Stevens is getting into his second offseason because the Celtics’ president of basketball operations.Michael Reaves/Getty

The Celtics shall be a luxury-tax crew subsequent season, so regardless that the exceptions would enable them to commerce for a participant with out being restrained by the wage cap, they’d nonetheless should pay that wage and the additional tax invoice it creates. Stevens stated that possession is not going to maintain him again, although.

“We have got the OK to do no matter we have to do,” he stated.

Confidence in Tatum

Stevens stated he had one message for Jayson Tatum after his irritating NBA Finals ended.

“I simply advised him to go on trip,” stated Stevens. “Go get some relaxation. This man gave us every thing he had.”

Tatum began within the All-Star Recreation, was named first-team All-NBA for the primary time, and guided the Celtics to the brink of a championship. However his season he concluded with a tough collection towards the Warriors, and he appeared significantly down about it after the Recreation 6 loss final Thursday.

“I believe he could be the primary to say that he want to have a few of these moments again,” Stevens stated. “However I assumed there have been different contributing elements to how he performed.”

Stevens thinks fatigue from an extended season, a stagnant offense, and the Warriors’ underrated protection all performed a job in Tatum’s struggles.

“That is a part of the educational expertise about attending to the purpose the place you’ve gotten a terrific thought about what it takes to get all over,” Stevens stated.

However he doesn’t need one quiet collection to remove from every thing the star ahead achieved.

“What Jayson and Jaylen [Brown] have carried out within the playoffs, traditionally at their ages, is rarefied air,” Stevens stated. “I believe we ‘re very cognizant of the truth that regardless that Jayson would admit he didn’t play his greatest collection his, there ‘s no probability we ‘re there with out him and with out all of his nice play his all over.

“I believe again to all the instances — Recreation 6 in Milwaukee was among the finest video games I’ve seen a person play in my time, definitely in individual and with the Celtics. With out that efficiency, we’d have had this dialogue a month and a half in the past.”

Stevens stated that the 18-21 begin to the season in all probability elevated the early workloads of prime gamers equivalent to Tatum, and the damage and tear confirmed later. A cleaner starting to subsequent yr shall be a degree of emphasis.

Evaluating the coach

Stevens’s largest transfer on this new function final summer season was hiring Udoka. There have been some early bumps, however like the remainder of the crew, Udoka discovered a rhythm and thrived. He completed fourth within the Coach of the 12 months voting and gained the belief and confidence of his gamers alongside the best way.

“I assumed that he discovered a rhythm in teaching this group that clearly was actually good as we went by way of the common season and into the playoffs,” stated Stevens, “and did job of sustaining his competitiveness, but in addition his perspective and evenness all through the playoffs.

“I’ve advised individuals I am near all alongside, I believe his potential to bounce again after the robust losses within the playoffs was actually particular, and his potential to all the time keep humble and hungry all through all of it was actually particular.”

First-year coach Ime Udoka (left) earned reward from his boss within the entrance workplace.Jim Davis/Globe Employees

A clear invoice of well being

Stevens stated he didn’t anticipate any Celtics to want offseason surgical procedure. Middle Robert Williams appeared hobbled at instances within the playoffs as he handled soreness associated to his March knee surgical procedure, however improved noticeably because the Finals progressed.

“However he must take a while,” Stevens stated. “Each our docs and others that now we have consulted with have stated the identical factor. There is definitely no threat in being on the market. However when it is over, it’s good to take a number of weeks for it to fully calm down.”

Adam Himmelsbach will be reached at Observe him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.

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