Brad Stevens hasn’t lived an NBA trade deadline before, but he’s gotten the equivalent of years of experience in just a few short weeks. With the Boston Celtics in a sort of rebuilding limbo, Stevens’ team has been connected with just about every trade rumor, no matter how questionable the veracity.
So far, Stevens says he has not seen the uncertainty affect his players, even though judgment day could arrive for many of them Thursday.
“Certainly, as you go through the year and certain things are reported, or they see their name come across the Internet, I’m sure that weighs on them,” Stevens told reporters in Phoenix on Tuesday. “Have I seen it really impact one or two guys? No, I really haven’t. They’ve been pretty professional all the way through it, which I’m sure is hard to do. Again, I’ve gotten the impression, from everything that I know and from everything that I read, that what you read is a lot more than what’s actually happening.”
Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Brandon Bass have led the field in the number of times their names have been mentioned in trade rumors, but Stevens said he has not seen the reports affect their focus or approach to their day-to-day work. Nor has Stevens allowed the distractions to seep into his own preparations.
The team that takes the floor on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers could look far different from the one Stevens will lead into Phoenix on Wednesday. For now, the coach is operating as though it will be the same.
“I’m not anticipating [major changes], nor am I looking at that,” Stevens said. “I’m looking at the guys that are here.”