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
5 of 5

Xavier Tillman, Unrestricted Free Agent

This is really as simple as Xavier Tillman potentially having a chance to make more money and find a bigger role on the open market. He played well in the 13.7 minutes per game he was given by the Boston Celtics, but at 25, it'd be fair for him to want something more.

In the event that his ambition wins out this summer, it's hard to imagine the Celtics being able to re-sign him.

Tillman, a second-round draft pick in 2020, earned $1,930,681 during the 2023-24 season. It was the fourth and final campaign of the four-year, $6,531,283 deal he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies after being drafted.

A quality defender who was impressively productive in his limited playing time, Tillman could look to cash out in a relatively thin free-agent market at the interior positions.

Tillman's 2023-24 season averages translated to 10.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game. It's a fair representation of what he brings to the table as a capable passer who defends in an active manner.

It's certainly possible that the Celtics could bring Tillman back, especially if Luke Kornet indeed walks, but it's a hard sell when finances are as restricted as they are.