New President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens has a lot of decisions to make this offseason but it starts with assessing who he has on the team right now.
So this is your chance to say who should be back and who you’d rather see playing elsewhere next season.
I’ll give my own takes below, but frankly I’m likely to change my mind a few hundred times before the Finals are over.
Not Going Anywhere
I’ve been waiting a long time to have a dynamic duo like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. I’m a huge fan of both of them and how they play off of each other. We just need to build a better team around them. There’s always a chance that Brown could be traded for another star, but I don’t see it.
Tremendous Upside Potential
Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith, and Robert Williams have already shown me enough to want to hang onto them. Of course they have trade value too, but if I had my choice I’d want to see them back.
Vets With Value
Kemba Walker still has his moments and he has a huge contract that the team might have to spend assets to shed at some point. Evan Fournier is a free agent that the team should take a long look at retaining. Tristan Thompson has been good at times but might be more valuable as a matching expiring salary this offseason.
Then there’s Marcus Smart, likely to be the most polarizing player on the team for fans to argue about this offseason. I think we need more guys like him, not less. Then again, he might be the guy with the most value on the roster that might swing a positive trade for the Celtics.
We’re on year 2 of Grant Williams and Romeo Langford. The best case seems to be that both turn into solid rotation players. Worst case is ...that they don’t. Both of them desperately need a full training camp (and Summer League wouldn’t hurt either).
This isn’t baseball, but I love this term that Keith Smith uses. There are just some guys that are too good for the minor league and not good enough for the pros. The end of the Celtics bench is full of guys that probably fall into that category. I am rooting for each of these guys to prove me wrong, but I’m not sure it happens here in Boston.
Frankly I was surprised that Semi Ojeleye was brought back this season when he fits the same general role that Grant Williams does. I was also surprised that Carsen Edwards remained on the roster. He doesn’t seem to have a place in the rotation.
At some point we have to make a decision on the two-way players. Tremont Waters is really very good for someone his size but he might not be a rotation NBA player. Tacko Fall is really very good for someone his size but he might not be a rotation NBA player. (See what I did there?)
Luke Kornet is a free agent. If he’s ok coming back for 3rd string center money I don’t have any issues with that. Jabari Parker is the latest reclamation project and I don’t have any issue with him filling out the bench as long as expectations are appropriately low.
Bottom Line: The only guys I’d draw a line in the sand and demand to have back on the team next year are Tatum and Brown. Everyone else is open to negotiation.
I’d really like to bring back Smart, Fournier, Pritchard, Nesmith, and Robert Williams too.
Beyond that I’d like to see Brad Stevens make a number of moves, in particular to build out the bench with better talent and/or more veterans with a little swagger and toughness.
But enough of my rambling. Your turn. Who should stay and who should go?