3. Jevon Carter
The Celtics have the best defensive backcourt in the NBA. Jrue Holiday has made five All-Defensive teams, including being first-team for the third time in 2023. Derrick White was second-team All-Defense last season. They may be the two best defensive guards in the league, but Boston has nowhere to turn when either needs a rest.
Carter is a hard-nosed defender, who averaged over three steals per game during his final NCAA season. He will fight through screens and stay attached to his man. The 6’1 guard can defend on the ball, but his size prevents him from switching to larger players.
The 28-year-old is a career 39.4 percent 3-point shooter. He will sink open shots and make a few plays. Pritchard is the better offensive option, but Carter would offer additional defense. Head coach Joe Mazzullo has leaned toward scoring, but Boston needs to get stops in the postseason.
Jevon Carter inked a three-year contract worth $19.5 million with the Bulls in the offseason, which is a significant salary for Boston to add. They will be over the second tax apron when Jaylen Brown’s extension kicks in next season. Are they willing to pay more to get a steady bench option? Brad Stevens must convince ownership that Carter is a key piece moving forward.