After losing a first-round series matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, the Boston Celtics’ offseason began with a series of surprising moves, including a new president of basketball operations, a new head coach, and bringing back a familiar face.
When Danny Ainge — who led the Celtics front office for 18 seasons — announced his retirement and that Boston’s head coach, Stevens, was heir to becoming Danny’s successor, Brad wasted little-to-no time in pulling the trigger for a Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford trade. Now, Celtics radio color commentator and Celtics’ 1981 NBA Finals MVP Cedric Maxwell believes Stevens shouldn’t necessarily stop there.
The Celtics’ 2x champion believes wholesale changes aren’t always a bad thing, especially if it involves a six-time All-Star point guard in Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard.
Cedric Maxwell Wants Damian Lillard in Boston
Lillard, whose name was rumored to be only “days away” from demanding a trade out of Portland, per True Hoops’ Henry Abbott, is someone Maxwell believes would take Boston to the next level. On the latest episode of the Cedric Maxwell Podcast, Cedric says for someone of Lillard’s caliber, trading away an All-Star like Jaylen Brown, could be worth it, in the end.
“I think you have an excellent opportunity if you think about having a guy like that. In these terms, we’re talking about one of the top four guards in the NBA,” Maxwell said, per the Cedric Maxwell Podcast. “And if you’re able to roll the dice in that way, you’d have to make that particular move. Would you be good enough when you think about a championship? Eh, I don’t know. But, again, I think that what you have to do is you have to start upgrading your roster, changing positions.”
Maxwell: ‘I See Dame Lillard Making Tatum Better’
“Does Tatum make Brown better? Does Brown make Tatum better? Do you see any one of those guys making the other guy better? And I don’t see that,” Maxwell said via the Cedric Maxwell Podcast. “I see Dame Lillard making Tatum better or Tatum making Dame Lillard better. But, I don’t see the contrast enough between those two particular players because you don’t think of them — either one of those guys (Tatum, Brown) — being great passers. Dame Lillard’s a great passer.
“So, you’re going to get extra opportunities that you wouldn’t get. And that would be even if Tatum left and obviously, that’s probably never going to happen but I still think you start looking at contrasts in players.”
Lillard, while training in Las Vegas for Team USA in preparation for the Olympics in Tokyo, addressed last week’s True Hoop’s latest report.
“It’s not true. I’ll start off the rift and say it’s not true,” Lillard said of the reports, per the Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner.
However, as Max said in his latest episode, a lot can change throughout the course of a regular season. As for Stevens and the Celtics, Cedric believes it would be wise for them to keep tabs on Lillard and his situation with the Trail Blazers.