7. Aron Baynes
Baynes will have a very simple role for this team: box out, defend the rim, and get up and down the floor. With his previous teams, Baynes has proven to be highly efficient in limited minutes. In Boston, his efficiency will likely maintain. He’s up this high because he’s the only one on the team that’s actually 7 feet tall and big enough to protect the rim. Stevens will probably start him but ultimately opt for small lineups throughout the game.
8. Terry Rozier
Rozier has been a frustrating player. On one hand, he’s an elite athlete who has the length and quickness to defend both backcourt spots, the skill to get to the rim at will, and the rare ability to grab contested rebounds and push the pace. However, last year we got a player who was unable to run an offense, struggled to shoot, couldn’t finish at the rim, and let opponents get in his head. This will be a big year for Rozier to show he can be more than just another mid-lottery miss. As currently constructed, Rozier will most likely be the off-guard in the second unit with potential to be the lead guard if he shows the ability to run an NBA offense. The biggest thing for him, however, will be his shooting. If he comes in able to knock down open catch-and-shoot opportunities, then he’ll have a consistent role in the second unit. Otherwise, he may be in for another year of bench cheerleading.
9. Marcus Morris
There’s been some talk about Morris potentially starting, but his inability to be a strong rebounder will likely relegate him to a bench role. Morris will get plenty of minutes because he’s a veteran who has a good command of his game and can give a consistent output every single night. Morris is a big fan of generating his offense in the mid-range, which isn’t ideal in a first unit but is fine in the second unit, and the second unit will most likely need some sort of consistent threat. Defensively Morris is solid. Last season he forced opponents to shoot 4% worse when he was the primary defender. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s known as one of the best defenders of LeBron James in the league. The stability of having a consistent two-way game will make him a much-needed rock for the second unit.