Projecting the Celtics starting lineup
Basketball never takes a break.
In June, you have the NBA Finals, NBA Draft and way more rumors than anyone could ever think up. Even so, they still seem to come up with more of them than any other sport. Then, July rolls around, and there’s more rumors, but the playing of the game never really stops. Why? Because the NBA summer league starts up so there’s more games for the fans to take in, even if they only do feature younger players.
The games are definitely a positive tool though since they give an early indication of where the younger players are at. That also helps us figure out who will be impact players for teams this season. With that in mind, here is a look at how the Celtics starting five could look this season:
Isaiah Thomas (PG) — The guy was an MVP candidate last year and scored more than anyone else (28.9 points per game). He pretty much is the Celtics at this point.
Jaylen Brown (SG) — Brown was the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He has played well in the summer league and the C’s no longer have Avery Bradley, so they need to do something about the spot. He has more NBA experience than Jayson Tatum, who the Celtics drafted third overall this past June, so they might need to plug him in here.
Gordon Hayard (SF) — The Celtics really needed one more star, and going after a proven small forward was a bright move. The guy put up 21.9 points per game last year and earned his first All-Star apperance. Certainly, that is an upgrade over Jae Crowder.
Marcus Morris (PF) — Morris was a starter for the Detroit Pistons these past two years. The Celtics gave up Avery Bradley and a second round draft choice for him, so they must like him a lot. Last year, he was good for 14 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per contest.
Al Horford (C) — Horford enters year two of the mega contract and despite being 6-foot-10, he will probably end up being the team’s big man. Or, you could say the C’s won’t have a very big starting five. Either works. Regardless, he scored 14.3 points per game last year while grabbing 8.6 boards per contest.
Clearly, the Celtics aren’t going with guys who necessarily fit the mold of traditional positions. Brad Stevens prefers not to go with that old style. He prefers roster versatility, hence why they are loaded with forwards.