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Celtics development power rankings - who’s in the rotation?

Ime Udoka’s rotation has some young players on the outside looking in.

NBA: Preseason-Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Who was buried in Grant’s tomb? Not Williams.

We have now seen four regular season games, which is still a super small sample size but enough to get a feeling for who is in and out of the rotation.

Here’s where we left the rankings (after game 1):

  1. Grant Williams
  2. Romeo Langford
  3. Payton Pritchard
  4. Aaron Nesmith
  5. Bruno Fernando
  6. Sam Hauser
  7. Broderic Thomas
Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Stock Up/Stock Down

Stock Up: Grant Williams, Payton Pritchard

Grant Williams has performed very well early on this season. He’s averaging 11.8 points a game (featuring one 18-point game against the Rockets) while shooting a blistering 58.8% from the 3-point line. With Al Horford in and out of the lineup, Grant has been effective filling in and providing Ime Udoka with versatility. It seems like the “bigs” rotation consists of Horford, Rob Williams, and Grant Williams (with some smaller lineups mixed in).

Pritchard has seen his role somewhat reduced from last season but he’s still solidly in the rotation to provide an additional ball handler and floor spacing. Thus far his outside shooting numbers are down (just 30.8% on the season thus far) but that’s only a hot streak away from evening out.

Stock Down: Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith

This may not be fair, but Romeo missed 2 games due to injury so he gets bumped down slightly if only for his availability. In the two games he’s played he’s been solid. He’s made 4 of his 6 three pointers, looking confident as he shoots them. He plays solid defense and cuts to the hoop but has been a little sloppy with the ball (5 turnovers).

Nesmith has been available but nearly invisible. He’s missed all 10 of his shots (9 of which were 3’s) and hasn’t scored at all. I’ve been a big fan and proponent for Aaron, putting a lot of stock in his ability to expand his game beyond 3’s. However, at this point he’s a 3-point specialist that kind of needs to hit 3’s to be effective. I expect the shots to start falling, but not if he’s watching the game from the bench like he did for the entire Hornets game.

  1. Grant Williams
  2. Payton Pritchard
  3. Romeo Langford
  4. Aaron Nesmith
  5. Bruno Fernando
  6. Sam Hauser
  7. Broderic Thomas
  8. (TBD) Yam Madar & Juhann Begarin

If everyone is healthy, we might see Nesmith struggling to find time. It remains to be seen how Romeo slots into the rotations when he’s healthy. With all that said, it seems like “when everyone is healthy” is a bit of a fantasy land with unicorns and fairies that mere mortals aren’t allowed to visit. So the young guys should stay ready for when their number is called.

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