Celtics’ Brad Stevens On Trading For Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday: ‘If You’re Not Trying To Get Better, You’re Probably Going To Get Caught’

During an interview with NBA reporter Steve Bultpett of Heavy Sports, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens talked about his thinking behind the acquisitions of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday.

Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, Brad Stevens, NBA, Boston Celtics
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The Celtics acquired Porzingis from the Washington Wizards and Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers. 

“I think we’re always evaluating how we can get better,” Stevens said. “Because I think if you’re not trying to get better, you’re probably going to get caught. And, you know, we weren’t where we wanted to be anyways as far as a Finals or championship team. So getting caught is just something that I just think you always have to be alert to.

“Being good is really fragile. Being good is really hard. And nothing is guaranteed, so you just, again, have to be on the lookout for ways to improve. Most of the time, that’s just within the walls — tweak the offense, tweak the defense, whatever the case may be. But sometimes opportunities present themselves, and you just have to be ready.”

The Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals and fell to the Miami Heat in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. Stevens made a tough move last summer, trading fan-favorite Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies in the three-team Porzingis deal. 

Boston has the best record in the NBA this season at 43-12. Both Porzingis and Holiday have meshed well with All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and many NBA scouts believe the Celtics will win the 2024 championship. 

Joe Mazzulla’s group is fifth in the league in points per game and fifth in points per game allowed. The Celtics’ starting lineup of Holiday, Derrick White, Brown, Tatum and Porzingis is arguably the best starting five in the NBA. 

“We’re always thinking about how to improve the team and make the team better. I think we’re always evaluating the team,” Stevens said. “But as far as true roster construction, I’d say it’s not as big a percentage of the job as everybody thinks it is. You’re responsible for the entire basketball operation. So you’re responsible for all the people in the building, all of their employment and everything that goes with that.”

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