The Celtics sure did have a weird offseason. Before this offseason, everyone was sure that Gordon Hayward was going to pick up his player option for 32 million dollars, especially after all of his injuries. Well, not only did Hayward not pick up his option for $32 million, but he signed a multi-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets for $30 million a year. This is a pretty big loss for the Celtics losing out on a guy like Hayward. However, that loss was a little bit easier to swallow once the Celtics received a massive trade exception worth around $28 million. The general consensus around the league is that the Hornets overpaid for Hayward who struggles to stay healthy and doesn’t push the needle very far for the Hornets.
The Celtics also traded their backup center, Enes Kanter, to the Portland Trail Blazers for two future second-round picks. This isn’t a big blow to the Celtic’s depth since they signed Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague. It is unclear right now as to who will start but Thompson finally gives us the traditional big that can rebound and protect the rim. It is going to be interesting to see what they are going to do with Daniel Theis now that they have Thompson. He could come off the bench but personally, I would love to see him start at the four (power forward). He is already undersized for a center and his shooting ability allows him to play forward without clogging up the paint.
Aaron Nesmith is also an interesting piece that gives them a lot of options. Nesmith is the rookie the Celtics selected with the fourteenth pick in the draft. He was said to have been the best pure shooter in the draft. Maybe instead of starting Theis at the four, he can come off the bench and we can start Nesmith at the three (small forward). One of the reasons to do this is because Jayson Tatum looked very good playing the four last season, Nesmith can play the three allowing Tatum to continue playing the four and will help him come into next season and become a superstar.
The most likely starting lineup is probably to start Marcus Smart with Thompson. This is the most likely because it is the most obvious, usually you start your best five players. Smart is definitely good enough to start but the reason I don’t like this lineup is that it makes the bench weaker. Marcus Smart played well coming off the bench last year, he averaged 13 points a game and was one of the best defenders in the NBA. Last year he even improved as a facilitator but if he starts he’s not going to have the ball in his hands as much as he would if he came off the bench. While I don’t think this should be the starting lineup, l definitely think that it will and should be the closing line up for the same reasons.
Media day just passed and there could possibly still be more changes to the Celtics roster but as of right now these are the big changes to the Celtics roster. Regardless though, this has been a weird offseason for them because while they lost Hayward, they got a bunch of pieces that they needed. I am interested to see how Brad Stevens is going to deal with all the new players.