December 8, 2023


4 Celtics gamers have been represented in ESPN’s annual participant rankings.

Jaylen Brown (7) and Jayson Tatum (0) have been each ranked very extremely on ESPN’s Prime 100 Gamers checklist. Matt Slocum/AP Picture
  • Celtics 76ers Basketball

    The Celtics have a really deep coaching camp roster: 8 takeaways vs. 76ers

  • Right here’s how opposing NBA common managers view the Celtics

The Boston Celtics have a roster stuffed with expertise, in keeping with specialists.

ESPN finalized its annual rating of the 100 finest gamers within the NBA on Monday. The Celtics are very well-represented on this 12 months’s checklist, with 4 of their gamers making the lower.

The best-ranked Celtic on this checklist is, unsurprisingly, Jayson Tatum. ESPN tabbed Tatum because the sixth-best participant within the NBA, forward of gamers comparable to LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis.

“Tatum continues to grow to be some of the well-rounded wing gamers within the league,” ESPN’s Tim Bontemps wrote. “He eclipsed the 30 factors per recreation mark for the primary time in his profession, did a significantly better job of attending to the foul line and continues to be a sound defensive participant, making him exactly the type of two-way wing each NBA crew would like to have.”

Tatum has obtained loads of reward going into this season. He was voted because the league’s high small ahead within the NBA’s common supervisor survey, and he’s anticipated to contend for the league’s Most Worthwhile Participant award this season. One of many few issues specialists query about Tatum is his skill to guide his crew to an NBA championship, which is the one factor holding again from rating larger.

“If [the Celtics] can break by way of and win a title after years of late-postseason oustings, Bontemps wrote, “Tatum is probably going a lock for the highest 5 on this checklist subsequent 12 months.”

However Tatum received’t have to guide this roster alone. He’ll be joined by Jaylen Brown, who ESPN ranked nineteenth on their checklist. He’s ranked larger than former All-NBA members Karl-Anthony Cities and Kawhi Leonard, and would doubtless be larger if his 3-point capturing numbers reverted to what have been two years in the past.

“If [Brown] can get again to round 40%,” Bontemps wrote, “It could do a ton for his effectivity and make an already potent Celtics offense much more troublesome to cease.”

No matter his capturing numbers, Brown is likely one of the Celtics’ most essential gamers. He just lately signed a five-year $304 million supermax extension — the biggest contract in NBA historical past — and posted career-highs in factors per recreation (26.6) and discipline purpose proportion (49.1%) final season en path to his first-ever All-NBA groups. Bontemps wrote that these achievements earned Brown a Prime-20 spot on ESPN’s checklist.

Not too far behind Brown is Twenty sixth-ranked Jrue Vacation, who was just lately acquired in a commerce that despatched Robert Williams III, Malcolm Brogdon and picks to Portland. Regardless that he’s a brand new face at TD Backyard, specialists imagine that he’ll match proper in subsequent to Boston’s two stars.

“Vacation slots proper into the purpose guard spot occupied by Marcus Sensible for years and ought to be a powerful complement subsequent to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on each side of the ball,” ESPN’s Jamal Collier wrote.

Vacation’s achievements as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks made him a Prime-30 participant to ESPN. His status as one in every of basketball’s finest perimeter defenders solely grew all through final season, and he displayed actual expertise on the opposite facet of the courtroom as effectively.

“Vacation remained a gentle two-way presence in 2022-23, rising as Milwaukee’s No. 2 possibility with Khris Middleton hampered by accidents, whereas remaining one of many league’s finest perimeter defenders,” Collier wrote.

The Celtics’ different main commerce acquisition of the offseason, Kristaps Porzingis, got here in at quantity 62 on ESPN’s checklist. Porzingis’ arrival essentially adjustments the best way the Celtics play basketball, and the hope of that change paying off seems to be why Boston gambled to get him by buying and selling away the fan-favorite Sensible.

“There have been few extra fascinating trades in current reminiscence than the Porzingis-Marcus Sensible swap this summer time,” Bontemps wrote, “A transfer that utterly remakes the id of the Celtics, who’ve extra playoff wins than any crew however the Golden State Warriors for the reason that begin of the 2016-17 season.”

Porzingis will likely be judged on how effectively he handles the intense lights of Boston, in addition to the playoff video games that many individuals anticipate the Celtics to play. He can have an essential function on a crew contending for a championship this season, which will likely be robust for a participant who has little or no playoff expertise and hasn’t made the match since 2021.

“How will [Porzingis] deal with heightened expectations?” Bontemps wrote. “Porzingis, who solely has 10 playoff video games in his complete profession, will now be judged on how he performs subsequent spring.”

Regardless of what number of Celtics made the checklist, one identify seems to be lacking. Derrick White has been a key participant in Boston’s postseason success over the previous two seasons, which is partially why ESPN’s Kevin Pelton labeled White’s snub as “essentially the most obvious omission from the Prime 100.”

“White had a case as crucial participant on final season’s Celtics outdoors of stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum,” Pelton wrote.

The Celtics nonetheless have a number of gamers who cracked ESPN’s checklist, no matter who didn’t. They’ve a deep roster of gifted gamers who will definitely assist them of their quest to boost Banner 18.