Thursday, April 18, 2024

Brad Stevens on Derrick White's future: 'We want him around for as long as we can keep him around'

The Celtics are looking to secure their core for the immediate future, as Brad Stevens spoke on last week's signing of Jrue Holiday to a contract extension.

The team president of basketball operations made himself available to the media ahead of the C's playoff run, while praising head coach Joe Mazzulla and the growth made in year two at the helm of the roster that finished with their first 60-win regular-season since the 2008-09 campaign.
"I said this at the end of last year, I said at the beginning of this year, Joe did a really good job last year and then just picked right up on it this year," Stevens said Tuesday at the Celtics practice facility. "Everybody in that second year of being a head coach learns a lot about navigating the season, the schedule, the team and all the challenges that go along with that."
"I don't think that's unique to him, but I do think he's done a really good job," Stevens added. "I think he's as good as there is at getting a group on message and staying on that message and being able to hone in on this task at hand. This group was very consistent with that through 82 games."
Boston was the only team ranked in the top three in both offensive and defensive efficiency this season and a huge reason for that has been the play of Holiday and Derrick White. Stevens remained optimistic about being able to retain the backcourt duo together without revealing too much regarding White's contact situation. 
"I can't talk about much with things that we're not allowed to discuss until July 1," Stevens said. "But Derrick has had an amazing year. Derrick is a huge, huge part of our team and we want him around for as long as we can keep him around."
While Stevens and White can't negotiate until the summer, when he'll be able to sign a possible extension -- since his current deal expires at the end of 2024-25 -- the veteran guard is eligible to sign a four-year, $123 million extension this offseason.

Holiday on the other hand, became eligible to negotiate at the beginning of this month and both parties agreed to a four-year, $135 million deal which is great step in keeping the league's best starting-five together for years to come.
"Jrue came here, joined our team and all he tried to do is add to win. For a guy who is as accomplished as he is, that is as used to more usage, more reps, more touches," Stevens said. "All that came into play was what kind of a teammate am I being and can I help us win? ... also the fact that he can play off the ball and be as effective as he's been, I just think it shows another layer of what a guy can do ... as you look at a person like him and you think about the long term of a group, you think, obviously, you need really good players and guys that can play on both ends of the court. You also want people that young players can look up to and he is a person they should look up to, and certainly do look up to."
Of course with the pending contract extension of All-Star Jayson Tatum also expected to be completed this summer, Stevens understands that coming off a 64-18 season doesn't mean anything without a championship in what could be the one of many with keeping this current group intact going forward.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment