Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens revealed the organization is willing to go green.
Stevens, in his end-of-the-season press conference Tuesday, shared how Grousbeck and the Celtics brass signed off on spending and using Boston’s three trade exceptions to bolster the team entering the 2022-23 season.
“We’ve got the OK to do whatever we need to do,” Stevens said when asked about offseason spending, as shared by NBC Sports Boston.
Grousbeck, the Celtics’ majority owner and governor, confirmed what Stevens expressed Tuesday, as well.
“Yeah, I mean bringing people back, it’s not even close. But here’s the point: It’s never, ever in business at the Celtics,” Grousbeck told 98.5’s The Sports Hub’s “Felger & Mazz” on Tuesday afternoon when asked if it was fair to assume the Celtics would go into the luxury tax. “The reason we bought the Celtics in the first place — and I got 20 guys together to do it — was so that we could vindicate, try to take care of this great thing, much bigger than any of us, that truly great people put together before us. We’re just trying to do everything we can for the Celtics. It’s been that way since 2003.
“And there’s no question. Whatever needs to be done, can be done, can possibly be done — I’ve had four different in-person meetings and conversations with Brad (Stevens) and Ime (Udoka) in the last four days — and it’s been ‘Let’s go.’ And that’s the way it will be for as long as we have a team that can compete.”
Those sentiments represent arguably the biggest takeaway from any of the Celtics’ end-of-season press conferences. The Celtics, after all, have gone into the luxury tax just once since the trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets before the 2013 season.
It’s fair to note a number of those post-2013 campaigns did not present the Celtics as true title contenders, which is where they currently stand after coming up two wins shy of the organization’s long-awaited Banner 18. Most recently, the Celtics got below the luxury tax for the 2021-22 season on trade-deadline day, but they did improve in doing so.
Boston has had clear success when going into the tax.
Boston currently has three trade exceptions, with Evan Fournier’s $17.1 million, $6.9 million from Juancho Hernangomez and Dennis Schroder’s $5.9 million. That’s nothing to scoff at.
Stevens and the Celtics could begin their offseason dealings soon, too, with the deadline to use Fournier’s exception running near. In addition, the NBA draft begins Thursday while free agency will kick off June 30.
Beal, of course, might be a bit of a long shot, but perhaps the Celtics put their money with their mouth is. It’s worth recalling how Golden State signed Kevin Durant after losing in the NBA Finals a few years prior.
“We are going to do everything we can to get banner 18 up there,” Grousbeck told 98.5 The Sports Hub. “Our first priority is winning.”