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Don't expect home-run deals with Brad Stevens at the helm

 Former Celtics GM, Danny Ainge, hit two home runs in three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays prior to joining the NBA in Boston. He also hit the same number as Celtics boss, luring Kevin Garnett to Beantown and working a heist with the Nets to eventually acquire Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.


I suspect that Ainge was looking for his second home run with the Nets deal because he realized he could not remain at the helm of the Celtics forever. With Brad Stevens at the wheel, don't expect any such blockbuster trades or free-agent acquisitions.

Bringing in Al Horford for the 2016-17 season was significant, but not a blockbuster. Al left of his own accord via free agency, but he is back - and Boston is the right place for him. Effectively trading the injured Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving proved to be a bad move. Ditto for bringing in Gordon Hayward at the same time in 2017.

Both stars wanted to be "The Guy" with the Celtics, and that was never going to work. Irving was too egocentric to be a leader with The Green, and frankly, Hayward proved just too fragile to remain on the court long enough to exert his influence.

What is ironic is that things have not worked out as expected for all four players mentioned here. Isaiah Thomas is still looking for his next NBA home. Al Horford is looking for a resurgence after a disappointing stint in Philadelphia and being shut down in Portland. Kyrie Irving went down with another injury, and his Nets experienced an early out in this years' playoffs. And Gordon Hayward picked up yet another long-term injury.

There is no rush for Brad Stevens to attempt a go-for-it-now-home-run deal. He is new at the job and is young. Singles, doubles and triples may be more in line with any moves by the new Celtics boss, maybe with a somewhat kinder, gentler approach to keeping the roster intact and developing talent from within. That could lead to Boston becoming a more-attractive destination for NBA players.

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