5 Boston Celtics who definitely won't be back for the title defense

The Boston Celtics are about to face the harsh reality of most NBA champions: It's hard to keep the band together, even if it is playing to near perfection.
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Five
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Five / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages
1 of 5

The Boston Celtics have captured the NBA-record 18th championship in franchise history. After years of questions pertaining to how Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can coexist at the highest level,  answers were provided in the form of Boston's second championship of the 21st century.

Unfortunately, the Celtics will now face the same daunting reality as every championship-winning team: Not all players can return the following season.

Boston, thankfully, has an opportunity to keep many of its core players in town. Brown, Jrue Holiday, Al Horford, Kristaps Porzingis, Tatum, and Derrick White are all signed through at least next season, meaning the opportunity to repeat as champions is viable.

With free agency looming and the unending pursuit of improvement often requiring teams to part ways with key role players, however, not everything will stay the same.

Tatum is eligible for an extension that can kick in as soon as 2025-26, and the Celtics will likely look to make one more splash this summer before they pay nearly $100 million per season to their two franchise players. Furthermore, both Horford and White will be eligible for free agency in 2026.

The question is: Which players could be casualties of the long-term vision to retain key talent and the short-term goal of improving an already elite roster during the summer of 2024?

Oshae Brissett, Player Option

It wasn't long ago that Oshae Brissett was being heralded as one of the best success stories to emerge from the 2019 NBA Draft. Not only did the former Syracuse Orange standout go undrafted, but he worked his way up through the G League to become a productive player.

As Brissett enters unrestricted free agency, it stands to reason that he could be on the lookout for opportunities to prove he can get back to being the player he appeared to be.

Brissett averaged just 11.5 minutes per game over the course of his 55 appearances in 2023-24. It was a sharp decline from what he'd begun to show as a member of the Indiana Pacers, with which he appeared to have serious floor-spacing potential.

Brissett averaged 10.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.6 three-point field goals made in his 21 games played in 2021-22, shooting 42.3 percent from beyond the arc.

A season later, Brissett produced across a larger sample size, averaging 9.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.2 three-point field goals on 35.0 percent shooting from distance. As the Pacers added to their roster, however, he seemingly fell out of favor.

Brissett will now look for an opportunity to restore faith in his potential. At 26 years of age, there's certainly time left for him to earn a more consistent role.