Watch CBS News

Stevens Discusses Celtics' Crowded Frontcourt, How Al Horford Can Help Robert Williams

BOSTON (CBS) -- Following last week's trade that sent Kemba Walker out of Boston and brought in Al Horford and Moses Brown, the Celtics have a big glut of big guys.

Horford and Brown join Robert Williams and Tristan Thompson in the Boston frontcourt, with Grant Williams hanging around as a small-ball five and Tacko Fall potentially back as another potential option. But with such a collection, another move or two are likely for Celtics president of basketballs ops. Brad Stevens.

The new man in charge of the Celtics, however, sounded pretty excited that whomever comes in to take over as head coach will have no shortage of options down low.

"We have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of flexibility," Stevens told reporters on his Monday morning Zoom session to discuss the Walker trade. "We have really good players at that position. We'll see how it all shakes itself out."

While Horford and the final two years of the four-year, $109 million deal he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 are seen as a salary match for Walker's worse contract figures, Stevens is confident that the 35-year-old will be a positive for the Celtics in his second go-around with the team.

"Al can move the needle. He had a good year in Oklahoma City; he didn't play a ton of games, but statistically had a year that applies across the board," Stevens said of Horford, who averaged 14.2 points and 6,7 rebounds in his limited playing time with the Thunder. "Sometimes the ability to space, pass, and play in different ways on the other end is something he'll – he just has a wealth of experience."

That wealth of experience could pay dividends to Robert Williams, who learned a lot during his one season as a teammate of Horford's in 2018-19. Stevens hopes that under Horford's tutelage on the floor, Williams will become an even more versatile big man for Boston.

"Rob is a guy that really wants to be good. He is a listener and he wants to improve," Stevens said of Williams. "He will lean on every word Al says. They can help make each other better."

Stevens said the main focus for whoever goes out there in the frontcourt will have to be opening the floor so stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can maximize their games. He hinted at the potential return of the double big lineup for the Celtics, which had mixed results with Thompson and Daniel Theis sharing the floor last season.

But that decision will ultimately be left up to whomever he brings in to take over at head coach.

"Tristan's ability to switch and rebound allows him to play with a spacer like Al. Rob playing a the role of dunker and in the lob game gives you flexibility. Those are things we'll figure out," said Stevens. "But once the roster is set, I'll be out of that decision making. Whoever the coach is can figure out how to best utilize people."

At least whoever that may be will have some options.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.