NBA Exec Gets Brutally Honest About Boston Celtics Being ‘Stuck’

Boston Celtics, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

When the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets made the huge blockbuster trade in 2013, the Celtics knew they might be down for a little while but would be set up for future success. They landed multiple NBA Draft picks in that deal, opening the door for them to compile even more assets down the road.

One of those picks turned into Jaylen Brown, who was selected No. 3 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. The following year, after landing the No. 1 pick in the draft, they made a swap that netted them, Jayson Tatum.

Coming away with two All-Stars courtesy of the blockbuster trade with the Nets laid the foundation for the Celtics. It paid off, as Boston looked like they would be among the upper echelon for years to come.

After first-round exits in the second and third years of Brad Stevens being head coach, the Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals three out of the next four years. While they were unable to get over the hump against LeBron James, there was optimism for the future, especially when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Unfortunately for the Celtics, those days of being among the elite in the Eastern Conference may be behind them. As one NBA executive put it, they are in a rut.

“I can’t believe this whole era for them hasn’t really worked,” one league executive said. “They’re stuck in neutral — and maybe going backwards.”

Things are not looking as bright for the Celtics as they were just two years ago. There has been an exodus of talent, as players such as Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris Sr., Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward have left or not panned out as hoped.

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Boston was unable to capitalize on more draft picks they acquired. Whether it was not including them in a trade to land another established star or just whiffing on the selection they made, the Celtics haven’t had any draft success since they acquired Jayson Tatum.

After being flush with tradable assets and draft capital for so long, the Boston Celtics are now short on both. They will have to get creative building up the roster around Jaylen Brown and Tatum to become contenders again as they have very few reliable assets beyond them.