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Brad Stevens says Celtics are healthy ahead of training camp, and he likes the flexibility of the retooled roster

Celtics president Brad Stevens retooled the roster following last year’s loss in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens told the Globe Tuesday that his team is completely healthy going into training camp, and that includes Malcolm Brogdon and Kristaps Porzingis.

Stevens, who was returning to Boston following a speaking engagement to make his annual appearance at the ABCD Hoops Dreams tournament at TD Garden, acknowledged that Brogdon was upset about nearly being traded to the Clippers in July, but said the sides have had conversations over the past few weeks.

Brogdon has arrived in Boston and will be ready for training camp.

“Everybody’s in Boston, everybody’s healthy, knock on wood,” Stevens said. “If everybody gets through the rest of the week, we should be full next Tuesday when we start practice. We’re excited about that.”


The Celtics had a three-team deal in the works that would have sent Brogdon to the Clippers and brought Porzingis from the Wizards, but the Clippers pulled out because of Brogdon’s injured elbow. Stevens eventually replaced Brogdon with Marcus Smart in the deal, sending the point guard to the Grizzlies to get Porzingis.

Brogdon, according to two NBA sources, was upset about nearly being traded. He also spent the summer rehabilitating his elbow, apparently without surgery. Stevens acknowledged Brogdon’s displeasure but said it is being resolved.

“I would say he had every right to feel [upset],” Stevens said. “We said that this summer. But he’s a real pro and so we’ve had several discussions. He’s looking forward to getting started. We’re looking forward to getting started and here we go.”

The Celtics nearly traded Malcolm Brogdon earlier this offseason, which reportedly upset the veteran guard.Megan Briggs/Getty

As for Porzingis, he sat out the World Cup for his native Latvia because of plantar fasciitis. The Celtics posted video this week of an apparently healthy Porzingis shooting baskets and working out at the team’s practice facility.


Stevens said Porzingis is expected to participate in the opening training camp practice.

“Kristaps has been running up and down the court the last few days,” Stevens said. “I thought the progression that his trainers there [in Latvia], our trainers here, and everybody came up with to get him back so that he could avoid anything lingering was a key.

“He feels great. I just literally talked to him on the phone on my way here. He said he feels good.”

Stevens retooled the roster after last year’s loss in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Gone are Smart, Grant Williams, and Blake Griffin. The club signed Lamar Stevens, Dalano Banton, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Oshae Brissett to supplement the bench.

“I like this team,” Stevens said. “We’ve been lucky that year in and year out we’ve been in the mix and we have a chance. We’ll see if we take all the appropriate steps to put ourselves in that position.

“But we have a lot of flexibility. We can play big and small. I like obviously our experienced guys that everybody knows their name. I like those guys a lot, they can help lead it.

“But I like a lot of our younger guys and what they can ultimately become. We may not see that game to game right now, but I’ve been impressed the way they’ve been working. I’m excited about that mix of guys.”

The Celtics made one of the NBA's biggest offseason splashes this summer when they acquired Kristaps Porzingis (center) from the Wizards.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Stevens lined the bench with young but experienced talent, adding to the team’s versatility.


“Tough, know how to play, but also have a little bit of a runway,” he said. “We’ve had to walk that a little bit. Banton is a good example. We haven’t had a first-round draft pick in three years, so can you find a young guy that you can invest in and really work with? And he’s excited to be here. Those guys are important.

“We’re trying to win it, but we’re also trying to make sure we are using our other roster spots to make sure we’re investing in younger players.”

Stevens said he’s never entered a season without feeling pressure, but he also feels positive about the team he has built.

“Our goal is to win and so ultimately we always have to keep our ears to the ground and our eyes open, but we do like our team heading into the season,” Stevens said. “I’m interested to see how it all plays out.

“To be there standing at the end, a lot’s got to go your way, but we know the path. We know how to get knocking on that door and there’s nothing we want more than to knock it down.

“There’s a sense of urgency for sure.”

Gary Washburn is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at gary.washburn@globe.com. Follow him @GwashburnGlobe.