Celtics

Free Agency to Determine if Celtics Belong in East’s Upper Echelon

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With impending free agents on both its own roster and around the league, the Boston Celtics need to capitalize and find talent to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

After facing numerous roadblocks last season, Boston failed to make a playoff run. This caused numerous changes upstairs– leaving Stevens with the personnel-managing role which included finding his replacement at head coach. They landed with former Nets assistant coach, Ime Udoka.

Boston now shifts their focus to free agency, which opens Monday night at 6 PM ET. Prioritizing the Jays by adding complimentary players will be beneficial in the long run, but starting next season on the right foot will be instrumental for the new coaching staff as well.

ASSESS THE TEAM POST-KEMBA

Stevens did not wait to make a splash after becoming the new GM. He sent Kemba Walker, the 16th overall pick in the 2021 Draft and a 2025 second-round selection for Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick.

This may have looked like a loss for Boston, but it allows Stevens more financial flexibility in the future. Rather than paying Kemba $36 million next year, they are paying less for Horford.

BRING BACK TIMELORD AND FOURNIER

Robert Williams III was a bright spot in a rather gloomy season for the Celtics. The 23-year-old elevated his game to the next level and earned the starting center spot. Timelord displayed his shot-blocking ability, rebounding and hustle with his elevated role. The former Texas A&M product plays his part very well. He does not need to score to make an impact.

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Boston acquired Evan Fournier at the trade deadline this year and he proved to be a good piece for the C’s. Another player with scoring ability, he can be the three-point specialist Boston desperately needs. He can fit interchangeably with Marcus Smart or even play with him to create a different dynamic for Boston.

BRING IN DEPTH 

Besides the usual contributors, the Celtics lacked consistent bench scoring. Payton Pritchard provided a much-needed spark as a backup guard. Besides that, however, there were not many options. Fellow first-year player Aaron Nesmith found his groove toward the end of the season and will look to build on that.

The young ensemble of Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters and Grant Williams still have not had a breakthrough fans hoped. Romeo Langford recently returned from injury and proved he can be a viable bench piece. The midseason signing of Jabari Parker also gave the C’s relief off the bench. For Boston to find success, they need to find consistency in their rotation, whether it is through the draft or an offseason acquisition.

On July 30th, the Celtics shipped Tristan Thompson to Sacramento in a three-team deal that brought Kris Dunn, Bruno Fernando and a 2023 second-round pick to Boston. Later that day, Boston acquired Josh Richardson in exchange for the aforementioned Moses Brown. Making moves for Dunn and Richardson show the C’s want to focus on having a defensive-oriented team while bolstering their depleted bench.

FINAL THOUGHTS

With a lot already accomplished in Boston — finding new coaching staff, parting ways with Kemba, adding bench depth — retaining key pieces should now sit atop Stevens’ to-do list.

The young C’s need to develop, but veterans are just as important to move Boston toward their quest for another championship.

Follow us on Twitter @CelticsLead for the latest Celtics news and insight. 

 

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