Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics know how much Moses Brown can contribute.
They were on the receiving end of it earlier this year.
Brown was included by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the trade that sent Al Horford to the Celtics in exchange for Kemba Walker. Horford and Walker were the obvious headliners of the trade, but Brown is a noteworthy inclusion, too.
The Celtics in the Stevens era (the head coaching era, that is), generally have gotten manipulated on the boards. That can happen when running guys like Amir Johnson and Grant Williams out as the lone big men on the court.
But Brown could help usher in a new mindset. He’s 7-foot-2, 245 pounds, and in his first extended NBA experience, he averaged 8.9 rebounds per game across 43 contests last season. He did that while playing just over 21 minutes a game.
It doesn’t sound like the Celtics look at him as just a throw-in in the deal, either.
?We like Moses as an upside player,? Stevens said Monday, via The Boston Globe. ?Obviously, we saw the best of Moses in our game. But he?s a guy who got a bigger taste of the NBA this year. He got a great opportunity, and when he did play, he put up numbers.
The game Stevens is referring to was the Celtics’ March 27 win over the Thunder in which Brown dropped 21 points with a whopping 23 boards. It was without question the finest game of his two-year NBA career.
?He?s a guy we?re excited to learn more about and work with, and see how he fits with our group,” Stevens said. “The ability to make our wings better is going to be a huge part of the people that will be around them.?
Twenty-one points and 23 rebounds won’t be the norm for Brown, or any player, really, but it showed the ceiling and what could be with the 21-year-old.
By adding Horford and Brown, the Celtics revamped their frontcourt. And while Horford might be the instant contributor, Brown could prove to be the more valuable long-term asset. Who knows whether or not Tristan Thompson will be around next season, but a Horford-Robert Williams-Brown frontcourt is tantalizing.