The vast majority of NBA teams would love to be in the position that the Boston Celtics find themselves in as the 2018-19 NBA season approaches. Aside from the treasure trove of future draft picks still pouring in after the fantastic work of Danny Ainge, the Celtics have a loaded roster and the team’s collection of talent looks even better with the presumption of health for Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. As a result, the “wise guys” in Las Vegas (and off-shore) install the Celtics as the favorites to reach the 2019 NBA Finals out of the east and, even if they should receive quite a challenge from the likes of the Raptors and Sixers, it is easy to see why Boston would be in the driver’s seat.
However, the Celtics do have a potential “problem” in that, well, they might have too many good players.
If that seems insane, that’s because it is. Obviously it is never a bad thing for an NBA team to have an abundance of starter-quality players, but there are plenty of questions to be asked about the roster. What happens to Terry Rozier after his “breakout” playoff performance? Did the Celtics really just pay Marcus Smart a boatload of money for a full-time bench role? What about Marcus Morris? It absolutely helps to have one of the best coaches in the NBA and Brad Stevens has earned the benefit of the doubt to the highest degree on being able to manage a roster. Still, there are bits of uncertainty as to how he might deploy this particular roster, even as the pieces available should provide both effectiveness and versatility.
Despite Jayson Tatum’s stated willingness to come off the bench, there is very little doubt that Boston’s best lineup should be the one that begins each game. Al Horford is an All-Star center, Tatum and Hayward are high-end forwards, and the backcourt of Irving and Jaylen Brown makes too much sense. The Celtics are the envy of many in that they are testing the notion that teams can never have too many wings and, while there might be some size issues in deploying three wings instead of a “traditional” power forward, the uptick in skill is undeniable.