The Boston Celtics could very well leave their last roster spot open for the entirety of the 2023-24 season, but if they decide that they want it filled, they must decide what they want to use it on. One possible option is Austin Rivers, who has made it clear that he would like a spot on the team during his appearance on the September 20 episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast.”
“I had a great talk with Brad (Stevens) actually like a week ago,” Rivers told Simmons, as transcribed by MassLive’s Brian Robb. “I told him I’d love to be a part of the team. He said a lot of positive things. We’ll see if that’s something that will come to fruition. I’ve always loved Brad. I’ve always been a fan of him.”
At the moment, the Celtics backcourt rotation is Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon, and Payton Pritchard. Rivers would slot in as the team’s fourth guard. Rivers is coming off a season where he averaged 4.9 points while shooting 43.5% from the field and 35% from three with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
If another guard is what the Celtics want, Rivers may be one of the best options, but that may not be for long, knowing who could be waived. Preseason moves could very well determine who the Celtics get with their last spot.
Payton Pritchard Ready for Bigger Role
Payton Pritchard spent the majority of the 2022-23 season in the doghouse, but with Marcus Sart gone, his role is expected to be bigger. Pritchard revealed how he feels about the challenge ahead while talking with The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.
“If I get the opportunity to play, I’ve got to show what I’m capable of and that I can help win at a high level,” Pritchard told Himmelsbach in a September 16 story. “So I’m just looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing that. At the end of the day, I’m a winner and am obviously going to help Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson (Tatum) because those are the two that are pushing us, but we’ve all got to help them get over the hump, and ultimately win a championship.”
Pritchard added that he believes his role will change every game, but he believes his skillset will allow him to adapt.
“I think it looks different every night,” Pritchard said. “Obviously, I have the ability to shoot and space the floor, but also this year, being able to take pressure off, and if I have to handle and bring it up and showcase more of the passing side of things, I can do that. But I’ve talked to Joe, and it’s going to be a lot of different things.”
Celtics Interested in Lamar Stevens: Report
If the Celtics decide to use their last spot on a wing, Lamar StevensOn September 13, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported that the Celtics were among the teams interested in Stevens.
Stevens would give the Celtics a solid perimeter defender, but Stevens does not provide reliable spacing, having shot 31.6% from three during the 2022-23 season. The Celtics also have plenty of wings on the roster, but if they make any changes that affect their depth in that area, Stevens could be worth a look.