Celtics’ approach to roster building draws approval of NBA commissioner originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
When it comes to team building methods, NBA commissioner Adam Silver seems to have a clear preference as to which way rosters are assembled in his league.
Appearing on Pregame Live on NBC Sports Boston prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the commissioner indicated his support for building through the draft, much like the current versions of the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors have, rather than the so-called ” super team “phenomena that’s had a heavy influence in the league over the last 15 or so years.
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“Of course, these are super teams by definition, because they’re here,” Silver told hosts Amina Smith and Brian Scalabrine. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that not only do fans in those markets, but fans everywhere think it’s a fairer way to reward teams that have great scouting, great professionals in executive positions doing the drafting, building teams the old fashioned way … I think it leads to more fan support and I think it’s something we pay attention to. “
Four of Boston’s five starters were drafted by the organization in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III, in addition to rotation players Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard. Golden State also features a starting five with four homegrown talents in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney, along with key bench pieces such as Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga.
That’s not to say the Celtics or Warriors never tried to embrace a super team model. Golden State signed Kevin Durant as a free agent after back-to-back Finals appearances and went on to appear in the next three, while Boston signed big money free agents Al Horford and Gordon Hayward and traded for Kyrie Irving in an attempt to jumpstart its post-Big 3 rebuild – a rebuild of, in essence, a super team roster featuring the homegrown Paul Pierce along with big ticket trade acquisitions in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Silver acknowledged that both the Celtics and Warriors had augmented their current rosters via free agency and trade; Boston brought back Horford in a deal for Kemba Walker last summer and traded for Derrick White at the trade deadline, while the Warriors traded for Andrew Wiggins – a former No. 1 overall draft pick – in early 2020.
But Silver’s comments come as the Celtics and Warriors are in the Finals and Irving and Durant, who left their respective teams in Boston and San Francisco to form a super team with the Brooklyn Nets, were swept out of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals by none other than the Celtics.
It remains to be seen if the disaster in Brooklyn will spell the end of the super team era, or if it’s merely a blip on the radar.
One way or the other, though, the winner of the 2022 NBA Finals will surely get Silver’s seal approval.