After Disappointing Season, Boston Celtics Fans Get Their Wish

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As the Boston Celtics slogged through a season filled with inconsistency and the bad losses piled up, Celtics fans were demanding big changes. Some wanted Danny Ainge out of the front office.  Some wanted Brad Stevens off of the sidelines.  Some wanted both.  Well, everybody is getting their wish with the news that came out of Boston Wednesday morning.

Photo courtesy of CBS Boston

Ainge is moving on, and Stevens is moving in.

After a year in which every move Ainge made seemed like the wrong one, it feels like a lot of Celtic nation will support this one.  While I'm not as anti-Ainge as a lot of fans, after nearly 20 years in his role, I think it was time for a change. 

Over the past few seasons, more and more reports emerged of anonymous GMs expressing some sort of frustration or airing some sort of grievance with Ainge.  It felt like it was becoming harder for Ainge to do his job because some teams didn't trust him, and may not have been as open to making any sort of deal with him.  With some of the heists he had arranged in the past, it seemed like some teams were starting to wonder if he was always acting in good faith.

The Celtics enter a pivotal offseason in which trades are the most likely source of improvement to this roster.  It's difficult to do that if certain teams won't even pick up the phone, or entertain the idea of trading with Ainge.

Ainge is going to be remembered for how things went these past 5-6 years, more so than how good things went early on.  Everybody will talk more about the Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker contracts that didn't quite pan out.  The Kyrie Irving debacle.  The hoarding of draft picks.

They won't talk as much about how he put together a championship team in one offseason through trades, free agency and the draft.  How he transformed a team that won 24 games into a champion the next year.  They won't talk as much about the drafting of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, but will focus rather on the misses.  Unfortunately, this is a "what have you done for me lately" business.

As for Stevens, this caught me by surprise a bit and I am very intrigued as to how this will play out.  I wasn't in the fire Brad camp, as I laid more of the blame of this season at Ainge for constructing a poor roster.  I never bought into the idea that Stevens lost the locker room.  If that was the case, why the hell would they keep him on as GM? 

I think it was a combination of things that led to this.  I think ownership likes and trusts Stevens.  It's easier to go with a guy you know and trust than to go through the process of hiring a new GM.  You can now get a head start on roster construction, too.  The fact that Brad is still under contract probably also played a big part of it.  I also think Stevens' system may not be the best fit for the personnel he currently has.

Stevens is in a very unique position for a GM having coached this particular roster for the past couple of seasons.  He knows this team inside and out, their strengths and weaknesses and paths for improvement.  In theory, he knows exactly what this team is lacking. 

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I think we'll learn a lot about how Stevens really feels about this roster in the coming months.  You would assume that he and Ainge were always on the same page when it came to personnel moves, but if he all of a sudden cleans house and moves a bunch of guys, maybe that wasn't always the case. 

Maybe there are some guys on this roster that Stevens is dying to move on from.  One concern I do have though is will he be too emotionally attached to move on from certain guys, even if it's in the best interest of the team? 

All I can think about is his comments around the Isaiah Thomas trade back in 2017.  He talked about how difficult it was and the emotional cost that came with it; how after the decision was made, it took him a while to find the words to say to Isaiah.  He talked about how in college it was great because you generally had a sense of when guys were coming and going.  Not so much in the NBA.

I would say that's my one big concern.  Yes, he's new to this job, but I think he has a great basketball mind, is very deliberate and analytical.  Everything he does feels calculated, so I have no doubt he'll be able to learn this job rather quickly.  It also doesn't feel to me like he has many, if any, enemies across the league and should have open lines of communication with every team. 

He may have a very short leash though.  I'm sure he will with the fans.  There are plenty of fans out there who aren't too happy that Stevens is still around.  If Boston has another couple of down years, I'm sure they'll be calling for his job, again.


Follow Derek on Twitter @mcvay34.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: After Disappointing Season, Boston Celtics Fans Get Their Wish
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