BOSTON (CBS) -- Brad Stevens, fresh off of signing a new contract extension with the Celtics, joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zolak & Bertrand on Thursday, and looked ahead to the NBA Draft.
The big night is now just three weeks away, with the Celtics owning eight total picks. That includes the third overall selection, which some see as a somewhat useless asset -- not high enough to get a franchise-altering player in the draft and not enough to entice a potential trade partner to give up a marquee player in return.
But Stevens disagrees with that sentiment, and sounds like he's ready for the Celtics to use that selection come draft night. Asked about possibly moving the third pick, Stevens said Danny Ainge would have to get a very good player in return to make such a move worth it for the Celtics.
"I think the biggest thing is that person has to ultimately be a very effective player for us. If you keep the pick and draft a younger player, there has to be some patience tied to that and some understanding that guys are going to develop and mature at different rates, as far as their ability to impact the game in a winning way for 82 games and then hopefully the playoffs. If you do end up trading [the pick], it has to be pretty impactful. There are a lot of good players available in the draft, in my opinion. There are some good guys and I'm excited about having the third pick," said Stevens. "If we were to move it, it would have to be something pretty special to move it for."
Stevens isn't discouraged that it's clear that teams need a bona fide superstar in order to win a title, minus a few rare occasions, and says that aspect of the NBA serves as an inspiration to those striving to reach the promised land.
"It's a great inspiration and challenge to those of us who aren't there, to work really hard in the development and enhancement, whether you're a player or coach, helping people make that next jump. That's easier said than done," he said. "There are 28 teams that are dreaming of being [in the Finals]. That's why today as a staff, we sat down and went through things we liked on the defensive end of the floor after a month-long deliberation, and what we don't like and need to tweak. We know we have to get a lot better if we want to be playing into this time of the year."
Stevens also said schools have not approached him about a return to the college game.
"I've been asked by multiple media outlets and media people throughout the years, but not directly [from a school]. This, to me, was about learning and growing and getting better. This has been great in stretching me as a coach and continuing to grow us to what we ultimately want -- another championship banner," he said. "The longer I've been in it, the less it's about anything more than becoming the best you can be year-to-year."
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