Free Agency - Celtics are bringing back three key players for the next season on reasonable and expected contracts. Especially, the resigning of Skal Labissiere looks like an important step towards futher contention in the near future. With range becoming more valuable in the new engine, it appears Labissiere could become a more lethal weapon and a focal point for the Celtics' offense come next Season. The Haitian signed a 5 year contract starting at 12.4m per year. A solid deal for whom we expect to be a leading scorer on our team. Especially his great jumper should become even more valuable once the new era begins.
Next to Labissiere Boston also brought back defensive assassin Isaia Cordinier. With the chance to assign players also on the defensive end in the new era, Cordinier will play an even bigger role in Bostons plans from next season on. While he's not big enough to guard big men, he will be the primary defender for every opponents best guard. His deal, starting at 9.25m for 5 years, was expensive but somehow expected. Given his jumper is very strong, he will also be very valuable on the offensive end if teams tend to run us from the 3 point line or try to pack the paint.
The last one who came back in free agency is point guard David Michineau. The guard, who was the Celtics backup PG last season, will be coming off the bench again. While the management was suprised that no one was actively pursuing the frenchman hard, the office wouldnt have offered more than the 7.8m starting salary david signed for. Looking at Michineau's skillset, it is a very solid contract though. Due to his great playmaking and defense he will always have a role in the league at that contract.
Draft - Armed with three picks the Celtics entered the draft. In a draft that appears to be average at best, it was tough to find fitting pieces. While the scouting department definitely did a mistake by not having Afernee Simmons on ther shortlist, it was Carsen Edwards who was the draftee the Celtics wanted. However, the management deceided to gamble on him being available late at pick 13 and 23 to select him with their 30s pick. At 13 Boston selected Caleb Martin - whoch suprised many experts. The reason was, that Caleb was the only wing able to shoot the ball. Ratingwise the frontoffice prefered players like Zhaire Smith or Donte DiVincenzo, but guards/wings unable to shoot above 40% is just nothing they like in Boston. At 23 the Celtics took a gamble on Jontay Porter. That late and with not much talent available anymore anyway, it was worth it to give it a shot as a deep team. Will he be able to play more than 20 games per season? We wont know yet, but even if he only steps in as starter during the postseason, he will be an upgrade for the most important part of the season. Given we have to resign many, it is good to have backup like him, who would be a starter for 80% of the league, signed to a cheap contract.
Trainingcamp - After a succesful draft and free agency, the Celtics also had a solid training camp. With their stars like De'Aron Fox and Skal Labissiere already fully developed, it's the second row that improved a lot and will make the Celtics an even better balanced team next season. Especially Miles Bridges' development is eye-catching. With both wing spots (Isaia Cordinier and Ben McLemore) being locked for now, it will be interesting to see how Bridges will do coming off the bench. Another option could be to see him starting as PF. While his size at 6'7 doesnt look primed to be a 4, his shooting and defense could work well as a stretch four. On top Hlinason has improved significantly and became a Hassan Whiteside type of defensive anchor. A type of player the Celtics have been missing so far. Next to those two, who should see increased minutes due to Michael Gbinije's and Tristan Thompson's departure, also the three young rookies made a big leap forward. It has to be seen if Caleb Martin will see many minutes due to the crowded wings, but Jontay Porter and, especially, Carsen Edwards will play big roles in Boston's rotation.
Rotation - Preseason will help to define how the rotation will look like once the new season starts. So far it looks like only De'Aron Fox and Skal Labissiere have secured starting spots. All other will have to fight for minutes and starts. It wouldnt be suprising to see Boston start the season with the same starting five like last season, but it also could be, that some changes will be made easily due to the improved second row.
Point Guard: De'Aron Fox, David Michineau, Yogi Ferrell
Shooting Guard: Isaia Cordinier, Carsen Edwards
Small Forward: Ben McLemore, Miles Bridges, Kevin Knox, Caleb Martin
Power Forward: Skal Labissiere, Jontay Porter, Mathias Lessort
Center: Aaron Gordon, Trygvvi Hlinason