Brad Stevens calls Bol Bol trade ‘a really good deal’ for Celtics

The Celtics' president of basketball operations says the team was eyeing a trade for Bol Bol "for a while."

Bol Bol Celtics
Denver Nuggets center Bol Bol. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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Contrary to past years that rarely featured in-season moves, the Celtics got an early start on trade season this week.

The team shipped away reserve forward Juancho Hernangomez as part of a three-team deal that netted them Denver Nuggets center Bol Bol and guard P.J. Dozier as well as roster flexibility.

This move won’t net the Celtics much in terms of immediate contributions with Bol (foot) out for an extended period and Dozier (knee) out for the season. But Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens touted the flexibility and potential the trade brings the team on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” show Thursday.


“We’ve had P.J. here before. We know him well, and we like Bol’s upside,” Stevens said of the swap.

The most immediate motivation of the trade is likely gaining the $3 million in cap space and $6.3 in trade exception money from dealing Hernangomez to the San Antonio Spurs. The forward had played all of 96 minutes of basketball this season after coming over from the Memphis Grizzlies in the trade that sent Kris Dunn and Carsen Edwards out of Boston last year.

But though Stevens admits he knew both Bol and Dozier might not play this year, acquiring Bol wasn’t simply an idle pursuit.

“That actual deal was something that we had discussed for a while,” Stevens said. “We thought it was off obviously when Bol got traded to Detroit, and then it came back on.”

In particular, the Pistons voided the trade for Bol after the center failed his physical and opted to have surgery on the injured right foot. That didn’t deter Stevens from wanting him in the building, though.

“He’s going to be out for 10-12 weeks, which would put us right towards the end of the season. But we are able to evaluate him here, work with him here, spend time with him here, hopefully see him at the end of the season and/or work with him after the season before he hits restricted free agency. That’s a big part of it,” the Celtics’ executive explained.


Though it feels like a long shot to think Bol will show enough on the court to definitely lock in a spot for next season, his behind-the-scenes work could pique Boston’s interest as far as keeping him beyond the summer. When he’s healthy, he provides rare floor-stretching ability for a player with his 7-foot-2-inch frame, shooting 37.8 percent from three-point range for his career.

Yet, as it is now, health will be a key factor in how long he remains with the Celtics.


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