The Boston Celtics have received a never-ending stream of praise for their talented roster this offseason, but could they be the most talented team in the NBA?
ESPN is releasing a list of its Top 100 players in the NBA for the 2022-23 season this week, with numbers 100-26 being revealed Tuesday. The team with the most players represented? Boston, who saw Grant Williams, Malcolm Brogdon, Al Horford, Rob Williams and Marcus Smart all make the initial list, more than any other team in the league but the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The collection of talent for Boston does not include Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who will presumably both land in the top 20.
Smart was the Celtics’ highest placed players on the initial list at No. 34, just one spot behind Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving. Here’s a snippet of what ESPN analyst Tim Bontemps had to say about Smart’s placement.
Smart didn’t become the first guard to win Defensive Player of the Year since Gary Payton in 1996 by mistake. Smart has long been considered one of the best defensive guards in the NBA, and he was a huge part of Boston’s league-leading defense, including when it was a staggering 4.6 points per 100 possessions better than the rest of the NBA over the final two-and-a-half months of the regular season.
The Celtics will likely continue to receive praise as they begin training camp on Monday.