Brad Stevens wasted no time getting acclimated to his new role as President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics. Within weeks of making the step up from his previous role as head coach, Stevens traded Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Shortly after that trade, Stevens began to reconstruct the Celtics roster, making a flurry of moves to infuse additional veteran talent into the rotation. Alongside those roster moves, Stevens’ also had the unenviable task of locating and hiring his successor, which ended with the Celtics’ hiring Ime Udoka.
And then, Stevens’ job became far less hectic in its day-to-day, at least that’s how it looks to the outside world. Once the NBA season is underway, the pressure sits firmly on the shoulders of the coaching and playing staff while the front office field trade calls and begins preparing for the upcoming draft. Of course, this is watered down a little, and there’s likely far more behind the scenes we’re unaware of.
Still, Stevens quickly settled into his new role and wasted no time fixing some of the issues he encountered with the Celtics roster last season.
Brad Stevens’ Spotted at Duke vs. Kentucky Game
Stevens developed his coaching reputation in the college ranks as he steered the Butler Bulldogs to multiple overachieving seasons, despite limited resources and recruiting powers. As recently as last season, Stevens was coveted by the Indiana Hoosiers to take over as their new head coach.
Luckily for Stevens, his new role allows him to enjoy the best college basketball has to offer, without the need to deal with unwanted outside noise. Perhaps this is why Stevens’ was spotted enjoying the Duke vs. Kentucky game on Tuesday, November 9th.
Seeing an NBA front office member at a college game isn’t a new phenomenon. Danny Ainge was often spotted at contests up and down the country. Yet, the face this game was between two of the NCAA’s powerhouse teams can’t be ignored, and it’s fair to wonder which players Stevens was there to evaluate.
Potential Draft Candidates From Duke & Kentucky
It’s far too early into the college and NBA season to have a definitive big-board of draft talent. Adding talent from the G-League Ignite team further muddies those waters. Yet, some people are incredibly committed to the draft process, and one of the most trusted names is Adam Spinella, a high-school head coach who also runs “The Box And One.”
Spinella recently released his early-season big-board of potential draftees, which allows us to explore who Stevens’ could have been evaluating during the Duke vs. Kentucky game.
First, it’s important to remember that the Celtics don’t project to be a lottery team. If that happens, then the season went horribly wrong. However, draft day trades happen all the time, so we can’t exclude anyone based on their current projected ranking.
As such, let’s look at who Spinella has in his top-35 that participated in Tuesday’s game.
- Paolo Banchero – Duke
- TyTy Washington – Kentucky
- AJ Griffin – Duke
- Daimion Collins – Kentucky
- Bryce Hopkins – Kentucky
Of course, there are many more players from these two teams that could end up in the late first or early second-round should they declare, but it makes sense that one or more of these names are what drew Stevens into the stands.
While this was the first time Stevens has been spotted at a collegiate game this season, it’s likely to be far from the last, as the Celtics President of Basketball Operations begins his due diligence on potential additions to the roster on draft night. Regardless of how far away it may seem.