The Boston Celtics are doing everything possible to win the title this season. They traded for Kristaps Porzingis to shake up their core and added Jrue Holiday in a blockbuster few saw coming. The Celtics have arguably the best top six in the NBA and are right there with the reigning champion Nuggets as title favorites.
Boston has some depth questions, especially after trading Robert Williams III to Portland. Do they need a replacement? The Celtics must have players step up during the regular season and fill roles. Their top-end talent will miss games and the team’s depth will be tested.
Being all-in adds some pressure and expectation. If players do not perform, the Celtics will be searching for replacements at the trade deadline because the penalties for being over the second tax apron kick in next summer. Now is the time in Boston, and it is a make-or-break season for these five players.
5. Dalano Banton
The Celtics need wing depth behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and the front office was not shy about giving Joe Mazzulla options. They signed five free-agent wings plus added Jordan Walsh in the draft. Oshea Brissett, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Dalano Banton were the three who received standard contracts, but only Brissett’s is guaranteed.
Banton has received the most run among the group this preseason. In his two years with the Raptors, the 6’9 wing showcased some ball-handling and playmaking ability. Can he use it to crack the Celtics rotation this season?
If not, Dalano Banton will be looking for a new team. The Boston Celtics have a team option for the 2024-25 campaign, but the 23-year-old may not even make it that far. He gets $1 million if he makes the opening night roster and his salary becomes fully guaranteed in January. The Celtics will cut him and look for an upgrade if Banton struggles.