This Boston Celtics team has been incredibly active ever since they fell to the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals back in mid-June.
From the signing of Danilo Gallinari in free agency to the steal of a trade that netted them Malcolm Brogdon, the C’s have seemingly been on a mission to try and better position themselves for another opportunity to thrust over the runner-up hump and into the highly coveted NBA Champion stratosphere.
If this summer has proven anything it’s that Brad Stevens and co. will work tirelessly to try and push this team forward and, thanks to their efforts, Boston is currently viewed as the favorite to win next year’s NBA Finals.
Of course, even with the club’s triumphs during this summer stretch, to the surprise of many there are still several lingering questions that are in need of some answering as we make our way to the 2022-23 campaign.
With this in mind, we at HH pinpoint 3 of the biggest questions that are currently plaguing this Boston Celtics team:
Boston Celtics question No. 1) How long is Marcus Smart’s leash?
In his first season serving as the unquestioned starting point guard for the Boston Celtics, not only did the team as a whole have a historic run but so, too, did Marcus Smart.
Running the one for the eventual NBA Finals runner-ups, the C’s do-it-all talent posted impressive averages of 12.1 points, 5.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game while going on to take home the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award along the way, becoming the first player at his position to do so since 1996.
With these efforts, one would expect that Boston feels rather confident in their guard rotation, especially considering the fact that they already traded for Derrick White earlier in the year to serve as the team’s trusty backup and have talented youngster, Payton Pritchard, in the mix as well.
However, to kick off the summer festivities, Boston opted to make one specific move that, instead of addressing a position of weakness, bolstered this exact area of strength with the acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon.
Now, since the 29-year-old’s arrival back in early July, both the franchise and Brogdon himself have made statements suggesting that his role within the rotation will be as a primary backup to Smart which, naturally, sounds like a splendid and cohesive idea.
However, what with the fact that we’re talking about a player in the prime of his career who has averaged 18.9 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds on 35 percent shooting from deep over the last three seasons, in no way do we think either side fully believes that the point guard will be content with being a full-time bench player.
A player who has been viewed as a popular trade target and as a legitimate replacement option for Smart for years now, Brogdon may be saying all the right things but, just like any starting-caliber player, he’ll almost certainly be gunning for the top spot on the depth chart as soon as training camp starts.
While Smart is indeed the incumbent starter–and rightly so, may we add–, having as talented of a backup as Brogdon could be viewed as both a blessing and a curse, especially from a player’s perspective.
Should the team once again have a slow start to their season or Smart, himself, start off a bit slow, there could easily be a sudden urge to shake things up for this championship-aspiring team.
The only question is, how much of a cushion does the 27-year-old have?