It has truly been a summer of change for the Boston Celtics.
From their decision to take a swing on former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis by way of a multi-team deal to their latest blockbuster acquisition of Jrue Holiday, Brad Stevens and company have been on an all-out mission to retool and revamp Joe Mazzulla’s talent pool for what is hoped to be a prosperous 2023-24 campaign.
Of course, these additions required the club to witness and endure numerous subtractions, many of which came in the form of individuals who played significant roles for the C’s over the last several years.
With the offseason officially having come to an end with Monday’s Media Day, Boston will now set their focus on training camp where those outside of the club’s big four (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Porzingis, Holiday) will look to prove their worth and, in turn, attempt to carve out a lucrative role for themselves.
Celtics players with the most to prove during training camp
Of those residing in the aforementioned 14-man group, there seem to be a few specific players who have much to prove ahead of the upcoming campaign.
3. Al Horford
A beloved member of the Celtics organization who, throughout his two stints with the franchise, has done nothing but shine, it goes without question that Al Horford will once again play a key part in the team’s scheme in 2023-24.
That said, considering his lofty age of 37 coupled with his highly inconsistent production during Boston’s latest playoff run, there are certainly several question marks surrounding the veteran.
Though the coaching staff has impressively managed to regulate his overall workload and usage since making his return to eastern Massachusets, with the front office’s decision to offload frontcourt cohort and once-presumed franchise pivot Robert Williams III in the Holiday deal, as things currently stand it appears Big Al is heading toward a much larger role within Mazzulla’s rotation.
The question of whether Horford or Timelord should be the team’s primary center moving forward is now over. The Celtics have chosen the former and, with no true trustworthy alternate options around him, it seems they’re putting all their eggs in this proverbial basket.
Hopefully, he can show both fans and the franchise as a whole that he still has the proper amount of gas left in his tank to flourish when being used in such a capacity, and training camp will provide a first glimpse at this new situation at hand.