WHAT NOW? EXAMINING THE 2015-16 BOSTON CELTICS ROSTER



George M. Hewitt via celtics celtics at igtc.com
Thu Jul 2 14:18:05 UTC 2015


WHAT NOW? EXAMINING THE 2015-16 BOSTON CELTICS  ROSTER
 
By Ben Rohrbach
 
With Wednesday’s reported signings of Amir Johnson, Jae Crowder and Jonas  
Jerebko to a combined annual average value of $24 million, the Celtics have  
pushed right up against the projected $67.1 million salary cap for  2015-16.
 
Using Basketball Insiders cap guru Eric  Pincus’ projections, the C’s now 
have roughly $66.1 million  committed to 14 players, and that doesn’t 
include either of their second-round  picks or non-guaranteed deals for Phil 
Pressey and Chris Babb.
 
On draft night, Celtics coach Brad Stevens gave us an idea of how he views  
a roster, which helps explain why the organization coveted versatile 
forwards  Johnson, Crowder and Jerebko into the fold this week.
 
“Everybody starts with ones, twos, threes, fours and fives when they’re  
looking at a basketball team,” said Stevens. “I look at ball handlers, 
wings,  swings and bigs. I’ve only got four categories. The more guys that can 
play the  more positions the better. Right now when you look at our roster, I 
think we’ve  got three of the four categories with a lot of depth. That 
swing area — where  you can go three/four and play that way — that’s the area we
’re going to have to  address as we move into the next few weeks.”
 
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Celtics roster as currently  
constructed.

Ball handlers: Isaiah Thomas ($6.91 million), Marcus Smart ($3.43  
million), Evan Turner ($3.43 million), Terry Rozier ($1.82 million)

Wings: Gerald Wallace ($10.11 million), Avery Bradley ($7.73 million),  
James Young ($1.75 million), R.J. Hunter ($1.15 million)

Swings: Amir Johnson ($11.75 million), Jae Crowder ($6.10 million),  Jonas 
Jerebko ($4.82 million)

Bigs: Tyler Zeller ($2.62 million), Jared Sullinger ($2.27 million),  Kelly 
Olynyk ($2.17 million)
 
It’s interesting to note that Johnson is currently the highest-paid member  
of the Celtics, and the team’s longest term commitment is now to Crowder, 
who is  signed through the 2019-20 season.
 
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge added on draft  
night: “We’ll finish our roster this summer, and obviously there are holes in  
the big spots. Our roster isn’t complete. If you’ve learned anything, that’
s one  thing you should know. What you see today is not what you’ll see 
tomorrow or  next month. We’re a team that’s building for a championship, and we
’ll continue  to do that by trying to find the best players we can.”
 
While it would seem the Celtics are now all but done in free agency, the  
team has maintained its flexibility on the trade market. With a bevy of draft 
 picks and trade exceptions, Gerald Wallace‘s expiring $10.1 million 
contract and  a roster full of affordable deals, the C’s would be able to make any 
trade work  on their end. The question is whether another team covets what 
the Celtics have  to offer — a group of good but not great players and draft 
picks.
 
Otherwise, the C’s are banking on last year’s roster developing in order 
to  improve from a borderline playoff team to one that can compete for the 
division  crown. Will Sullinger be in shape? Did Young’s game mature as much 
as his body,  which has an extra 20 pounds of muscle this summer? Can Smart, 
Olynyk and Zeller  further develop? Will the success down the stretch carry 
over with the added  benefit of a training camp together? We shall  see.


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