Brad Stevens Defends Celtics’ Trade for Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtics

Getty Kristaps Porzingis of the Washington Wizards looks on against the Brooklyn Nets.

Kristaps Porzingis, the big blockbuster acquisition for the Boston Celtics this summer, has been in the news of late as a result of a foot injury supposedly sustained during this year’s FIBA World Cup.

In the days since being pulled from the tournament, MassLive’s Brian Robb has suggested that the big man may have been dealing with a lingering ailment since being attained from the Washington Wizards back in late June, which was a situation the C’s seemingly were unaware of.

Nevertheless, despite this somewhat concerning situation, President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens, recently was found defending his decision to acquire the likes of Porzingis this summer during an August 29 appearance on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego.”

“The part that was very obvious was he’s 7-foot-3. He can play the 5 and the 4 and he can play with any of our 5’s and 4’s which I think is important,” Stevens said, as transcribed by MassLive. “If you bring in someone that is just a center, it’s hard to play them and Rob together. But if you bring in someone with the skills that Kristaps has, that has the skillset that Al has, you can mix-and-match a little bit. You can stay bigger longer. That’s something we couldn’t do as much last year with our smaller groups because a lot of our best players were guards.”

As for any fears of serious side effects from Porzingis’ injury, the Celtics president noted that he’s “not concerned” and revealed that the star big “just determined he didn’t want to deal with lingering effects down the road.”

Brad Stevens Sings Praise of Former Celtics Big Blake Griffin

During his appearance on “Jones & Mego,” Stevens was also found praising some of the talents the Celtics had at their disposal within the frontcourt last season and specifically threw love at the likes of former forward, Blake Griffin, for his contributions.

“Our bigs were pretty thin,” Stevens said. “When (Robert Williams III) was out at the start of the year, those guys that played in his place did an amazing job of keeping us afloat. Blake was as good as it gets both on and off the court.”

During his stint with the Celtics, Griffin started 16 of his 41 games played and boasted season averages of 4.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists on 48.5 percent shooting from the field.

Though he may find himself currently unsigned on the free agency market, the big man has been quite vocal about his joy to have played in Boston, while rumblings suggest there could still be a chance for both he and the franchise to reunite for 2023-24.

Dorian Finney-Smith Tabbed as Target for Celtics

Despite the impressive moves already made by this Celtics front office, Joe Mazzulla’s roster could still use an extra zhuzh and, according to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, they may want to consider pursuing Brooklyn Nets wing Dorian Finney-Smith via trade.

“If Boston could squeeze a three-and-D wing into the budget, that would give this team someone who can spell the Jays and slot alongside them in smaller, switchier lineups. Finney-Smith fits that archetype as well as anyone, provided last season’s shooting woes (33.7 percent) don’t persist, (His 38.9 percent splash rate over the three prior campaigns gives hope that they won’t.)” Buckley wrote.

A solid two-way presence out on the wing, the soon-to-be eighth-year wing has established himself as a quality rotational piece who boasts solid career averages of 8.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting 35.7 percent from deep.

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