Last year was a roller coaster of emotions. A team that entered the season with championship expectations, but drastically missing their goal at the end. A second round exit to the Bucks largely due to poor performances by Kyrie Irving. But the Celtics have kept positive and have made moves to keep themselves near the top of the league. Here’s how they enter season.
The Celtics quickly bounced back from Kyrie deciding to sign with the Nets by signing Kemba Walker. Now Kemba might not be the better player of the two, but we know Kemba wants to be in Boston (unlike Kyrie). Kemba took significantly less money to play in Boston than he could have received in Charlotte. He seems excited to play with the young core of the Celtics.
The Celtics drafted Carsten Edwards in the 2nd round of this years draft. Edwards was seen as a potential bench scorer, until he burst on to the scene in Las Vegas during summer league. Edwards showcased his shooting skills, putting up about 18 points a game and also shooting better than 40% from beyond the arc. He played himself into a 4 year contract with the Celtics.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are about to enter their most important seasons yet. For the Celtics to be legitimate contenders this season, they will both need to take leaps from last season. They have both shown flashes of their potential but need to be consistently good this year.
Romeo Langford has gone under the radar with Celtics fans because he did not play in summer league due to a thumb injury. He was the Celtics first pick this year. But we really haven’t seen much of him. He was playing at Indiana with an injured shooting hand which obviously affected his shooting. It will be interesting to see how he fits in after not playing in summer league.
After the departure of Al Horford and the trade of Aron Baynes, the Celtics looked to be in trouble, and without a starting caliber big man. But thankfully Kemba Walker helped to recruit Enes Kanter to Boston. Kanter is nowhere near the defensive stud that Al Horford is, but he was one of the best big men still on the market when he signed.
Robert Williams is entering his second season in the league, and is probably going to get real minutes instead of injury replacement or garbage time minutes. He has crazy athleticism that helps him in the paint on both offense and defense. He showcased his passing ability during summer league, but his inability to spread the floor is his biggest weakness. Paired with Kanter who also is not a great shooter, the Celtics will be lacking a big man who can shoot.
Grant Williams is winning over Celtics fans with his happy attitude and his willingness to be a team first player. One of the first things he said in regards to the Celtics, was that he just wants to do what they ask him to do to help the team win. The Celtics also signed French big man, Vincent Poirier. Kind of an unknown, low risk, high reward signing. They have him for two years on a small deal, so it really can’t hurt to try him out. Tacko Fall was an undrafted free agent, but he gained a lot of attention during summer league, not only because he is 7’7″. But because he surprised people by how well he moved for someone his size. Danny Ainge hinted today that Tacko will be on the team at least at some point this year. He said that Tacko’s improvement is a priority to the team.