Danny Ainge stepping down was a bit of a shock for most. But what surprised people the most was to see Brad Stevens taking over for him and leaving his duties as coach.
But in full Ainge fashion, Stevens didn't hesitate to make some big moves right away. He moved on from Kemba Walker, brought Al Horford back, signed Marcus Smart to a contract extension, and added a couple of interesting pieces to their roster.
Those moves could pave the way for the Celtics to land Damian Lillard next season, according to Hall of Famer Cedric Maxwell (9:54)
“Those contracts are team-friendly," said the Celtics legend on the Celtics All-Access podcast "There's nothing to look at going 'Oh my god, you'll never be able to sell that to another team. And because of that, if you can put that package together of two or three players, then you're in the avenue of looking at a Damian Lillard of [the] Portland [Trail Blazers]. You have to trade numbers for numbers. And so you think about putting those contracts together. That might be a possibility, I think."
The Blazers aren't expected to trade Lillard at any point this season but that could change pretty soon.
While he hasn't requested a trade, Lillard has reportedly made it clear to the Blazers that things are far from good between them right now.
Lillard is in his prime and one of the best players in the world. He's a fierce competitor who's grown sick and tired of going back home early in the playoffs, and the Blazers' inability to put together a contending roster could prompt his exit.
Should that be the case, the Celtics would then have enough assets on flexible deals to, at least, try and pull off a trade for Dame.