2 Wings Predicted to Make Celtics Final Roster

The Boston Celtics in a huddle.

Getty The Boston Celtics in a huddle.

After going on an incredible end-of-the-season run last year, the Boston Celtics managed to battle all the way to the NBA Finals. And while they ended up falling just short against the Golden State Warriors, Boston has addressed their major issues this summer.

Brad Stevens signed Danilo Gallinari to a two-year deal at the start of free agency and then followed that up by trading for Malcolm Brogdon. However, they still have two roster spots left that need to be filled and a few training camp players to choose from.

Earlier this summer, the Celtics revealed that they would be hosting a training-camp competition to fill the final spots on the roster. In a recent article written for NBC Sports Boston, Chris Forsberg predicted that Jake Layman and Justin Jackson would be the two players to make it out of camp.

“Now, if the question is who emerges with one of three currently open roster spots, my early guesses would be Jake Layman, Justin Jackson, and the Celtics keep the 15th slot open for maximum flexibility (and tax savings),” Forsberg wrote. “Layman was a steady reserve in Portland and Minnesota. He fits Boston’s schemes and does enough to mask his perimeter shooting woes. Jackson has never quite tapped into his potential but got a call for a 10-day when the team was thin on bodies last year and then had a solid summer league.”

Layman is a hometown kid, and Jackson spent time with the team last season on 10-day deals, so those predictions make the most logical sense. Other potential options who could make the roster out of training camp include Noah Vonleh, Bruno Caboclo, and Brodric Thomas.

In addition to his discussion of end-of-the-bench guys, Forsberg’s mailbag article also detailed what he believes the starting lineup will look like.

What Will Celtics Starting Lineup Look Like?

Last year, the Celtics’ starting lineup was one of the best in the league when they were healthy. Forsberg thinks they should run it back with the same five starters.

“I don’t see any reason to mess with what works,” said Forsberg. “Boston’s starters were a wrecking ball last season. I think you see the same Tatum, Brown, Williams III, Horford, and Marcus Smart combo to start the year. Malcolm Brogdon will play plenty of minutes and maybe shuffle up to a starting role, especially if Horford gets rest. Brogdon, Derrick White, and Grant Williams should see the heftiest minutes off the bench. Kornet could play more than, say, Payton Pritchard depending on how Ime Udoka deploys talent. Pritchard deserves time; he might just have to be patient given the guard depth.”

Normally, this sort of thing wouldn’t even be a question, but with Robert Williams’ injury history and Al Horford’s age, they could look to switch things up.

Will Celtics Big Men Need Rest?

Horford is inevitably going to get some rest, but according to Forsberg, so could some other key members of the starting lineup.

“Horford will almost certainly get strategic rest,” Forsberg explained. “Maybe the Celtics tread carefully at the guard position given injury histories and the depth they have. But for Brown and Tatum, I think it’s more likely we just see Udoka simply try to keep their minutes lower. Tatum is a gamer who wants to be on the court each night. Brown has battled some injuries, most notably his hamstrings, but he’ll be eager to assert himself at every opportunity.”

It’s going to be a very fun season in Boston, and if all goes well, the Celtics could be set up perfectly for another deep playoff run.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x