CLEVELAND — The Boston Celtics love the idea of getting a high lottery pick in the NBA Draft, for sure. But that won’t be their only focus this offseason.
Along with draft picks and potential free agents (both their own and those whom they recruit), the Celtics have to take care of some of the good things going on in-house, coach Brad Stevens said prior to Saturday’s game at Cleveland.
"We all need to communicate to learn things that guys do best, to learn things they need to work on, so they can get better in those areas," Stevens said.
Stevens is in his first season as an NBA coach and you can never question his team’s desire. The Celtics were vastly undermanned and on the road Saturday, yet coasted to a 111-99 victory.
So while the team is relatively young and has just sort of been pieced together with an eye on the future, Stevens has done a nice job of building a strong locker-room togetherness. It’s not just the type of thing you want to surrender so you can focus on The Great What Comes Next.
"I got asked just today, ‘What would you like to see us add’ with regard to positional need or shooting or whatever the case may be," Stevens said. "We’ll get focused on some of those things but we also need to focus on the guys that are here and the guys that will be here — because they can all get better and they’ve all proven themselves to be really valuable."
Stevens is obviously talking about the likes of guards Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, and big men Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass, and even rookie Kelly Olynyk. All play hard and play smart, and only need more time — either in the league or together, or both.
Throw in some more work and another pick, and it’s not hard to believe the Celtics (25-55) can be very good, and soon, once again.