The Boston Celtics have managed to pull off this season what they weren’t able to under Danny Ainge in his last several years as the head of the franchise’s front office. The Celtics are about to make their first NBA Finals appearance in over a decade when they go up against the Golden State Warriors this Thursday in the 2022 NBA Finals. While Ainge is no longer pulling the strings for Boston from behind a desk, he’s still keeping a close eye on the moves his successor, Brad Stevens, has been making.

Via Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:

“I think that what happens is, you want to trade draft capital if you get the right deals and if you feel like you’re close enough to winning,” Ainge said. “None of us know what would have happened in different circumstances. The bottom line is, Brad did deals. The deals have helped the team, and he deserves all the credit for sure.”

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One of the boldest moves Stevens has done since taking over the role of the Celtics’ president of basketball operations in 2021 was to trade for Al Horford from the Oklahoma City Thunder, which cost Boston a pick in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft. No one’s thinking of that now, as Horford has proven to be an integral part of the Celtics’ deep postseason run in his return to Beantown.

Stevens also traded away Dennis Schroder and acquired Derrick White ahead of this season’s trade deadline, which was yet another bold stroke that has paid off thus far.

Stevens can further feel vindicated if the Celtics go all the way and bring another NBA title to the storied franchise.