Analyst: Celtics Must Part With All-Star Wing or Coach

Jaylen Brown Brad Stevens

Getty Jaylen Brown and Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics react to a call during the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

The hammer has been dropped; Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has made clear exactly what has to happen if the team hopes to return to form next season. Changes have to be made.

“I think that we will definitely be looking to make some changes in the offseason,” he told Toucher & Rich on Thursday. “How significant? I don’t know yet — we’ll see.”

Ainge’s proclamation is hardly a hot take. After coming just two wins shy of an NBA Finals berth last season, the Celtics currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a head-scratching 35-35 record.

This is the result despite the fact that the team’s frontcourt stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, both had career years.

One day after Ainge made his offseason intentions known, a well-known NBA analyst offered his opinion on what must occur in order to right the ship. It was a proposal that would require a massive sea change in the club’s current power structure.

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Goodman: Brad Probably Has to Go

Stadium’s Jeff Goodman made an appearance on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show on Friday. During the interview, the noted hoops scribe and analyst proposed a radical course of action for the Celtics to turn their fortunes around next season.

“I feel like a horrible person when I say that the Celtics should move on from Brad Stevens, potentially, because I’ve known him for so long and I think Brad Stevens is like the best human being in the world,” Goodman said, via WEEI. “This group just doesn’t fit well under Brad’s system.”

Goodman went on to say that if Stevens isn’t going to be the fall guy, Ainge needs to build him a roster that can actually succeed in his system.

“Either you’ve got to change your system and the way you play, or if you’re Danny Ainge, you better get him some different players,” he said. “I also think maybe it’s run its course. You have to make a move if you’re Danny Ainge. You have to do something. You can’t go in with the same core group. And to me, he’s got to make a significant move.”

According to Goodman, the time for working around the margins has passed. And given the Cs descent from the Eastern Conference Finals to a play-in scenario, it’s hard to disagree with his assessment.

“You can’t make a minor move. A minor move isn’t going to do anything with this team.”

Over his eight seasons at the helm, Stevens has compiled a record of 353-281. He has also made multiple trips to the conference finals.

If Not Brad, Then Jaylen Brown Is the Guy

Assuming Ainge elects to stick with Stevens, who just re-upped with Boston last August, Goodman has identified one of the team’s two All-Stars as the player who should be dealt. Namely, Jaylen Brown.

“You can’t trade Kemba Walker — you’re going to get 50 cents on the dollar. I would not trade Jayson Tatum for anybody in the game right now not named Luka Doncic. I wouldn’t,” he said. “So, what do you have left? Either Brad Stevens, or Jaylen Brown.”

Goodman isn’t looking to give Brown away for just anything, though. After the 24-year-old put up 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest this season, he thinks Ainge should attempt to swing him for one of the game’s best perimeter players.

“I’d trade Jaylen Brown in a deal for Bradley Beal,” he declared. “Celtics fans think I’m crazy. They think, I don’t know, Jaylen Brown is Michael Jordan or something. I would do Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams for Bradley Beal and call it a day and be happy.”

Beal’s future with the Washington Wizards has been a hot topic in league circles for some time now. And for the first time, really, he let some of his frustrations with the organization show this season.

The three-time All-Star, who averaged a career-best 31.4 points per game this season, is slated to earn more than $34 million from the Wizards next season and has a player option for 2022-23.

However, Washington hasn’t logged a winning season since 2017-18. The team currently finds itself with a sub-.500 record and battling for a spot in the East’s play-in tournament.

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