Other than that, everything else is essentially still up in the air.
In comparison to last season’s squad, the Cs have endured quite a few shakeups and changes that will undoubtedly make new head coach, Ime Udoka‘s lineup strategies differ from Brad Stevens’.
First step for this new regime is to figure out a starting unit to roll with come October 20th’s tip-off against New York. As we mentioned, with the way the roster is currently constructed, the Boston Celtics really only have two players that should absolutely be thrust into the first five rotation.
Outside of the Jays, however, there are a few other spots that are up for grabs and we here at the Houdini believe there are 3 players, in specific, that could surprise the masses and earn themselves a starting spot this season:
Surprise Boston Celtics starter No. 1) Josh Richardson
Though we mentioned that Tatum and Brown are likely the only guaranteed starters for the Boston Celtics at this point in time, veteran Marcus Smart may not be too far behind in being viewed in the same vein, especially considering the high expectations that Udoka has for the guard.
Should the Swiss Army man ultimately be put in the team’s starting one slot, the coaching staff may wish to add more size and defensive versatility into the backcourt rotation alongside him, and Josh Richardson would be a solid option for them to consider at the two.
Despite some fans’ lack of enthusiasm when it was announced the wing would be signing a one-year extension that pays him $24 million in total through 2023, Richardson is actually a quality addition that the Cs made this offseason and could serve as a reliable two-way shooting guard.
A career 12.3 point per game scorer on shooting splits of 43 / 36 / 83, the sixth-year veteran is a capable scorer from outside of the arch as well as when attacking the paint thanks to his impressive athleticism and underrated ball handling abilities & body control, and has the capability to take over games when need be.
On the flip side, however, he’s more known for his defensive abilities with his length (6-5 with a 6-10 wingspan), active hands, and high defensive IQ, and has boasted stellar defensive numbers for the better part of his career (twice has ranked within the top-5 in defensive real plus-minus at his respective positions).
A good option to have on both ends of the court, Richardson will certainly be in the running for the starting two guard for next season.