The NBA offseason is in full swing. So far, we have seen many trades and free agent signings go down that will change the league next season.
Most notably, the Los Angeles Lakers made many moves. Russell Westbrook was acquired in a trade with the Wizards. The Lakers seem to be making a strong push for banner 18 with a veteran lineup.
The Celtics and the Lakers have perhaps one of the strongest rivalries in sports. So what are the Celtics doing to make a push for their 18th banner?
So far, they have acquired Al Horford in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. This will be Horford’s second stint with Boston.
In this trade, the Celtics sent point guard Kemba Walker over. Walker was coming off an injury-riddled season last year where he couldn’t get into a groove.
Walker eventually went to the New York Knicks, who continue to get stronger. The Celtics needed to fill the point guard position. They went ahead and signed Dennis Schröder to a one-year deal worth $5.9 million.
Dennis Schröder to the Celtics
Dennis Schröder averaged 15.4 points per game last season. He shot 43.7% from the field and only 33.5% from beyond the three-point arc.
Many fans have been critical of Schröder. Like Kemba Walker, when he is on, he is great. But at the same time, he can shoot his team out of a game.
But let’s take a look at his impact on the Celtics this year. Boston also lost Evan Fournier, who would have been a great asset to put up points off the bench. Fournier signed with the Knicks, so he didn’t have enough time to develop chemistry with the Celtics.
The Celtics Lineup With Schröder
Starting at point guard this year will be Dennis Schröder. He must, however, work on his three-point shooting. He won’t be the Celtics’ first option, but you need your point guard to be a reliable guy to score three-pointers.
At shooting guard will be Jaylen Brown. Last season, Brown averaged 24.7 points per game on top of six rebounds per game. Every season since his rookie year, Brown has seemed to really step up his game. He is a great option the Celtics can always rely on.
Of course, at small forward will be Jayson Tatum. He is easily the best player on the team. Tatum recently played a big role in helping Team USA capture gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Tatum averaged 26.4 points per game last season. He has a clutch play-making ability and also can drop 50 points on occasion.
The power forward and center positions can easily flip. Robert Williams emerged as a rising star for the Celtics last year, though he was limited due to injury. Williams is undersized for the center position and could make the move to power forward.
Al Horford will return to take his spot at the center at the start of the season. He and Williams can flip the spots if necessary.
Dennis Schröder to the Bench?
If in a bad situation Dennis Schröder were to flop, the Celtics do have options. Payton Pritchard showed signs of stardom last season and could take advantage of a starting opportunity.
Enes Kanter will also be returning to help down low. Though he is infamous for being bad at playing defense in the post.
Boston vs the Eastern Conference
So how will the Celtics compete this year? They will for sure be better than they were last year, finishing in seventh in the East with a first-round exit. The three powerhouses will remain the same. The Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers will still be towards the top.
Out of these teams, I feel the Celtics could beat Philly in a seven-game series. Boston will finish in the top half of the East this year. The ceiling is the #3 spot and the floor is the #5.
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