Author Topic: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man  (Read 1352 times)

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Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« on: June 23, 2022, 08:06:04 AM »

Offline CFAN38

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Now that the post finals cloud has been lifted by the arrival of draft day I started to contemplate what roster moves I see as plausible for this off-season. I see the #1 priority being locking down the 8th man in the rotation spot.

I read one rumor that the Cs may try to use Pritchard and/or Nesmith to move back into the 1st round and that Eason would be their target. I really put very little faith in that rumor.

It did get me thinking about how willing I would be to see Pritchard moved. I have been a huge of his while in college and on the Celtics but at the time he was drafted I was not high on the pick. I prefer a draft strategy where only elite level PGs who have outlier skills that project them as clear future starters are drafted in the 1st.

That leads me to this off-season. The Celtics have a clear top 7 rotation 

Jayson Tatum SF
Jaylen Brown SG
Marcus Smart PG
Al Horford C
Grant Williams PF
Derrick White PG
Robert Williams III C

I feel they need to construct a clear top 8 rotation in order to return to the finals and compete. As much as I like him Pritchard isn't that player. Theis is also a nice bench player who I like having on the team but as we saw when Rob and Al are in the rotation there is no room to get Theis minutes.

If Theis and Pritchard are the 9th and 10th guys in the rotation they may be a slight waste of assets. If those two and potentially Nesmith need to (or can) be converted into a more tradable asset like a pick to combine with the TPE to land a clear 8th man (I prefer scoring wing) then Stevens needs to make it happen.

If Stevens can land a late first for Pritchard and Theis and flip that Terrance Ross, Luke Kenard,or Alec Burks. The jump into the tax wont be as crazy with Theis off the books then it will be on Stevens to secure a playable backup for Rob and a 3rd PG.   
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Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2022, 08:39:55 AM »

Offline celticinorlando

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They need wing shooting off the bench in a major way.

They need to move Nesmith because he doesnít look serviceable in that role.

White isnít a PG to me. Theis isnít worth the contract. No idea if they value you PP but he was regularly cooked by Poole in the finals.
ďThe rim is looking bigger and bigger every game.Ē

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Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2022, 08:50:16 AM »

Online Moranis

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8th men never move the needle.  Boston needs a better top end of the rotation to truly compete for championships going forward. 
I was finally wrong. Boston not only didn't win in 5, but didn't win at all.

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2022, 08:50:42 AM »

Offline Vermont Green

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If you assume that the starters will be the same next year, it currently leaves us with bench depth as follows:

#6    White
#7    GWill
#8    Pritchard
#9    Theis
#10  Nesmith

That isn't horrible but to me the best solution is to bring in a vet wing who can slot in as the sixth man.  Then you bump everyone else down a notch.  This makes White the seventh man instead of the sixth and so on.  You essentially improve every bench position.  You improve your eighth man because it will now be White or GWill instead of Pritchard or Theis.

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2022, 09:15:14 AM »

Offline celticinorlando

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They cannot win the NBA title with the bench as itís currently constructed. They need two more pieces that can contribute in major ways.
ďThe rim is looking bigger and bigger every game.Ē

 Paul Pierce

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 09:17:51 AM »

Online Celtics2021

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I think it will very much be someone in the 6th-8th spot.  My preference would be to make a run at Luke Kennard, whom I think will be moved, but in any case it would be surprising if we didnít add a wing.

Some relevant quotes from Brad:

Quote
I think we have to walk a fine line a little bit. I think teams are fragile,Ē Stevens said. ďI think the way teams work together and operate together are fragile. And I think your identity as a team, when you find one thatís successful ó which we did this year on the defensive end of the floor and when we were at our best sharing the ball offensively ó those things are fragile. So just to add doesnít mean that youíre not taking something away from the group. And to change significant pieces in the group doesnít mean that that might not totally take your identity and shift it in a direction thatís not as successful.

Quote
With our group in particular, itís not as much about blindly acquiring talent as it is fitting a team together,Ē he said. ďWeíve got some very, very talented guys, and they are young. So itís about how do we fit together, bring our strengths together to accentuate each other.

Quote
And the challenge, again, is making sure whatever you do around the margins of our roster, we have a unique identity and we have uniqueness in our size and our ability to be versatile all across the board. So we have to take that into account when we are adding to our team.

I donít expect a big shakeup, which makes sense given a core that is largely still at or younger than peak age.

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 09:26:01 AM »

Online BruceBanner18

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If you assume that the starters will be the same next year, it currently leaves us with bench depth as follows:

#6    White
#7    GWill
#8    Pritchard
#9    Theis
#10  Nesmith

That isn't horrible but to me the best solution is to bring in a vet wing who can slot in as the sixth man.  Then you bump everyone else down a notch.  This makes White the seventh man instead of the sixth and so on.  You essentially improve every bench position.  You improve your eighth man because it will now be White or GWill instead of Pritchard or Theis.

Three of those guys never saw meaningful minutes in the finals. Improving spots 7-10 on our roster mitigates against injuries to starters and gets a better regular season record.

Our issue was the lack of a reliable 3rd offensive creator in our top 6.  After Brown and Tatum, our 3-7 are Smart, Williams, Horford, White, Grant none of whom are shot creators. Two defensive specialists and glue guys. We have to upgrade one of those slots offensively

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2022, 09:26:13 AM »

Offline CFAN38

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8th men never move the needle.  Boston needs a better top end of the rotation to truly compete for championships going forward.

If the Celtics had a Terrance Ross(2021 version not this past season) or Luke Kennard on their roster this past season in place of Pritchard or Nesmith I think they beat the Warriors. 
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Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2022, 09:30:31 AM »

Offline Boston Garden Leprechaun

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They cannot win the NBA title with the bench as itís currently constructed. They need two more pieces that can contribute in major ways.

2 players minimum.
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Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2022, 09:33:33 AM »

Offline Vermont Green

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I think it will very much be someone in the 6th-8th spot.  My preference would be to make a run at Luke Kennard, whom I think will be moved, but in any case it would be surprising if we didnít add a wing.

Some relevant quotes from Brad:

Quote
I think we have to walk a fine line a little bit. I think teams are fragile,Ē Stevens said. ďI think the way teams work together and operate together are fragile. And I think your identity as a team, when you find one thatís successful ó which we did this year on the defensive end of the floor and when we were at our best sharing the ball offensively ó those things are fragile. So just to add doesnít mean that youíre not taking something away from the group. And to change significant pieces in the group doesnít mean that that might not totally take your identity and shift it in a direction thatís not as successful.

Quote
With our group in particular, itís not as much about blindly acquiring talent as it is fitting a team together,Ē he said. ďWeíve got some very, very talented guys, and they are young. So itís about how do we fit together, bring our strengths together to accentuate each other.

Quote
And the challenge, again, is making sure whatever you do around the margins of our roster, we have a unique identity and we have uniqueness in our size and our ability to be versatile all across the board. So we have to take that into account when we are adding to our team.

I donít expect a big shakeup, which makes sense given a core that is largely still at or younger than peak age.

I find these perspectives accurate.  You do have to be careful.  Look at how many teams end up totally messed up.  Another telling statement in my mind is his reference to "around the margins of our roster".  He is coming right out and saying that any changes he makes will be "around the margins" and that even with these types of changes, he is going to be very careful about altering their "unique identity".

Teams need to be open to anything in the off season but this seems pretty clear that he is not looking to change the core.  I think that is the correct approach but I will caveat that by saying you never know what opportunities may present themselves.  I agree that if we can bring in a vet wing 6th man type and maybe a decent up an coming PF, great.  That should be plan A.  But we also need to keep an open mind if something out of the blue presents itself (and I suspect the team will be).

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2022, 11:02:28 AM »

Offline jay

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We add two players, both making 15-17 million to round out the rotation.

One by using the TPE from Fournier and the other by trading Nesmith/Pritchard/Theis together.

Players making 15-17 that may be available: Wil Barton, Norman Powell, Jonathan Isaac, Davis Bertans, Marcus Morris, Duncan Robinson, Markelle Fultz, Steven Adams?, Caris Levert, Malik Beasley,

Norman Powell would be instant offense off the bench. Maybe take a flyer on Isaac getting healthy.
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Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2022, 11:05:28 AM »

Online Moranis

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8th men never move the needle.  Boston needs a better top end of the rotation to truly compete for championships going forward.

If the Celtics had a Terrance Ross(2021 version not this past season) or Luke Kennard on their roster this past season in place of Pritchard or Nesmith I think they beat the Warriors.
I don't.  Boston lost because they couldn't stop turning the ball over and GS was quite simply better.  Curry was the best player on the floor and Wiggins did a masterful job on both ends against Tatum.  Brown was widely inconsistent, but compared to Horford's inconsistency he was stable.  Smart and Williams can't hit the broad side of a barn away from the rim. 

Boston's issue is the top end talent just isn't good enough.  Upgrading the bench, isn't going to make Boston a champion, upgrading the starters might.
I was finally wrong. Boston not only didn't win in 5, but didn't win at all.

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2022, 11:35:09 AM »

Offline slamtheking

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8th men never move the needle.  Boston needs a better top end of the rotation to truly compete for championships going forward.

If the Celtics had a Terrance Ross(2021 version not this past season) or Luke Kennard on their roster this past season in place of Pritchard or Nesmith I think they beat the Warriors.
I don't.  Boston lost because they couldn't stop turning the ball over and GS was quite simply better.  Curry was the best player on the floor and Wiggins did a masterful job on both ends against Tatum.  Brown was widely inconsistent, but compared to Horford's inconsistency he was stable.  Smart and Williams can't hit the broad side of a barn away from the rim. 

Boston's issue is the top end talent just isn't good enough.  Upgrading the bench, isn't going to make Boston a champion, upgrading the starters might.
having a better bench would have made a significant difference in the finals -- it's the concept of what 'better' means that's the issue.

A real PG that can hit an outside shot, defend respectably and run an offense would have been huge off the bench -- takes the load of the J's shoulders to run the offense because they clearly are not ready/capable of that responsibility (at least not yet).  White isn't that guy.  PP wasn't reliable enough with his shot and was having real issues on D.

A 3&D wing who has a reliable shot would have been a big help.  We don't have that at all.  Cuts the J's minutes so we can give them more rest to stay fresher during games.   Grant is more of a 4 than a wing.  Nesmith is full of energy but often out of place on D and still cannot hit a 3 to save his life.

An athletic 4/5 that can defend and rebound would have been a big help when Timelord was out and to give Al more rest.  GWill has the strength/mass to defend in the post but not the height to block shots.  Theis has the height but not the athleticism against fast big men or strength for large big men. 

There's 3 pieces the bench could use that would have made a big difference.  Maybe Nesmith puts it together this offseason and makes a real leap for next season.  Maybe PP becomes more consistent with his shot such that he's not a negative on the floor.   Maybe Grant becomes more consistent with his shot as well.  Theis - if we can get a better big off the bench such that Theis slides down the depth chart one spot to take Kornet's slot, that would provide good depth because he can be effective against some of the teams in the league

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2022, 11:41:00 AM »

Offline liam

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I think we need to upgrade the sixth man and then our 7th man becomes our 8th man. I wouldn't mind a starter upgrade either at point guard or power forward. Brown, Tatum, and TIMELORD are all excellent starters but Horford ( getting old) and Smart ( inconsistent) could both be upgraded.

Re: Celtics offseason needs to focus on 8th man
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2022, 11:47:59 AM »

Offline Vermont Green

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8th men never move the needle.  Boston needs a better top end of the rotation to truly compete for championships going forward.

If the Celtics had a Terrance Ross(2021 version not this past season) or Luke Kennard on their roster this past season in place of Pritchard or Nesmith I think they beat the Warriors.
I don't.  Boston lost because they couldn't stop turning the ball over and GS was quite simply better.  Curry was the best player on the floor and Wiggins did a masterful job on both ends against Tatum.  Brown was widely inconsistent, but compared to Horford's inconsistency he was stable.  Smart and Williams can't hit the broad side of a barn away from the rim. 

Boston's issue is the top end talent just isn't good enough.  Upgrading the bench, isn't going to make Boston a champion, upgrading the starters might.

In the finals, our starting 5 was +24.  I agree that this unit showed plenty of warts along the way but had our bench held serve so to speak, it could have had some impact.

I feel the starters or top 5 players have the talent to win a title.  I think we proved that this playoff run.  Offensive execution needs to improve.  I don't think the core team every fully mastered Udoka's offensive system.  Or maybe his system isn't all that good or he isn't coaching it all that well, but that seemed to me to be the issue with the starters or the top end talent.