BOSTON (CBS) -- The Celtics made some moves on deadline day, bringing in a solid combo guard in Derrick White while reuniting with big man Daniel Theis. It was a pretty good day for Brad Stevens, who experienced his first deadline day as Boston's president of basketball ops.
Now that the dust has settled and the moves have been officially announced, Stevens was able to share his thoughts on his two pick-ups Friday morning. He received some pretty high marks on the national level for his moves, and he sounds extremely excited for what White can bring to the mix in Boston.
The Celtics already have the league's best defense, and Stevens is confident that White will only add to that. He's also excited for what the 27-year-old will add to the Boston offense next to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, with another extremely unselfish player added to the mix.
"We've thought for years that Derrick was a really good fit with our best players. He is an excellent defender, and he just makes the right play on offense over and over and over. He is a guy who only cares about winning that will do all of the little things, as you can see in some of his stats defensively and his willingness to put his body on the line. On offense, [he makes an impact] just by making simple plays. He doesn't need to be on the highlights to impact winning.
"We've identified him for a long time," added Stevens. "Felt fortunate to get a guy like that on a long contract that we think is a perfect fit for our best players."
White is signed for three more years after this season, and Stevens believes he'll be able to fill Josh Richardson's (who was sent to San Antonio in the White trade) role on defense and Dennis Schroder's (who was sent to Houston as part of the Theis trade) role as a scorer off the bench.
"We know that when you're trading away two really good perimeter players, you have to get a perfect fit and a guy who can eat up those minutes and play at a high level on the court," he said.
Stevens said the Theis swap came about very late in the process. They had thought about bringing back the German big man for a few days leading up to deadline day, but it wasn't until 20 minutes before the buzzer that the deal started to come together. He likes that Theis can be plugged in immediately thanks to his familiarity with Boston's best players and the Celtics' system. While Boston has Robert Williams and Al Horford making up their starting front court, Theis can fill in should either get struck by an injury.
"Rob and Al are our guys and playing great, but if you miss any time with those guys you can plug Theis in and it'll be a seamless transition. He knows how to make our best players better; that is what he does," said Stevens. "Off the bench, with Grant [Williams], if we play minutes without Rob or Al on the floor, Theis can play the exact role those guys are playing now and do so at a high level. It's insurance at that spot with a guy you know can do it at a high level."
Stevens isn't sure when the new guys will debut -- or in Theis' case, re-debut --but White is already in Boston and Theis should arrive later in the day on Friday. Then it will be a matter of players going through their physicals on both sides of the deals.
But if one thing was clear from Stevens' trades on Thursday, it's that he has a vision for the future. Both White and Theis are signed for the long-term, and Stevens expects them to be part of Boston's core going forward.
"The most important thing is this isn't about the next three months; it's about adding guys you can look and see playing in a knock-down, drag-out seven-game series. You know they can play a role helping you win. They do that very differently, but both can do that and do that for years to come," he said.
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