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Offseason moves for the Boston Celtics: Don't break up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown

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Brad Stevens embracing 'great challenge' ahead for Celtics (0:54)

Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens feel the Boston Celtics will always be motivated to win championships. (0:54)

The first-round series loss to the Brooklyn Nets proved how far the Boston Celtics are from competing with the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

While one could point to the absence of injured All-Star Jaylen Brown, the Celtics were a .500 team all season and needed a play-in game just to reach the first round.

Now heading into the offseason, the focus in Boston turns to the rookie extension of Robert Williams III, the expiring contract of Marcus Smart and the free agency of Evan Fournier.

New head of basketball operations Brad Stevens faces a delicate balancing act as he moves from the sideline to the front office to replace Danny Ainge. Not only does he have to find his replacement as head coach, but he'll also have to try to improve a Boston bench that ranked toward the bottom in production with limited financial resources, a process that began early when he agreed June 18 to trade former All-Star Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a package including former Celtic Al Horford. The move got Boston off the $73 million owed to Walker but cost the Celtics their 2021 first-round pick.