Kevin Durant probably isn’t walking through that door. Neither is Bradley Beal, unless Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens really reshuffles Boston’s core after reaching the NBA Finals.
Bobby Marks, a former NBA executive who now works as a front office insider for ESPN, on Tuesday dropped a complete team-by-team guide to this summer’s free agency. One aspect of his comprehensive breakdown on ESPN.com involved identifying “team needs” for all 30 NBA franchises now that the NBA Finals and NBA draft are in the rearview mirror.
Marks’ three “team needs” for the Celtics: a scoring wing off the bench, a playmaking backup point guard and frontcourt depth.
All certainly make sense as areas the Celtics should look to improve in the coming weeks and months. Because while Boston is an enviable spot, fresh off an NBA Finals berth with an impressive core intact, the Celtics’ shortcomings were evident at various points throughout their playoff run, most notably in their six-game loss to the Golden State Warriors on basketball’s biggest stage.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown comprise one of the best wing tandems in the NBA. But when one, or both, heads to the bench, the Celtics oftentimes struggle to get buckets. A legitimate scoring threat beyond the starting lineup would go a long way toward lengthening the roster.
Derrick White, meanwhile, proved capable as a backup point guard after being acquired from the San Antonio Spurs at the NBA trade deadline. He ran hot and cold with his shooting, though, and the Celtics would benefit from using more of a playmaker in tandem with him and starter Marcus Smart, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Finally, from a frontcourt perspective, Robert Williams III made huge strides as the starting center in 2021-22. Grant Williams really improved, as well. But the Celtics are thin beyond those two and Al Horford, who turned back the clock with his performance despite turning 36 during Boston’s postseason journey. Daniel Theis regressed down the stretch and into the playoffs after being reacquired at the deadline.
All told, whether it’s trades, free agent signings or some combination of both, the Celtics figure to be busy in their search for reinforcements after falling just two wins shy of an NBA title.