As a team, the Celtics have improved a lot over the 2016-2017 squad.  Considering they were the number-one seed in the east and went to the conference finals, it’s very impressive.  This group is especially interesting to most fans. With the added veteran talent, Boston has a lot of young players who could take the leap.  Currently, 10 of the players on Boston’s payroll are working through their first four years in the league. We’ve also brought in Gordon Hayward who will help everyone create his own shot.  To dive in-more, I reached out to the staff, a fan or two and a local radio pal to get their take.

Survey Says…

“Marcus Smart, because he will most likely transition into the starting two guard and gain valuable playing time to make him a future point guard.  He might get paid instead of Isaiah Thomas” – Don @cjoneswho1212

“Al Horford. Another year with Steven’s and now a more veteran starting corp. The fans were kind of down on him.” – Andrew @ALykins32
“He isn’t the answer to that question, but I like Yabusele a lot for a couple years down the road.  I think he has great upside and is very athletic.  For this year, I might go Jaylen Brown. 2nd year in NBA, knows how things work now, will get a lot of rotational minutes and I expect a nice year out of him.” – Scott @TheFrizz87
“I’m going Al Horford because he will own inside now that Hayward is there.” – Jeff @JeffJardine3
“I say Jaylen Brown. The kid showed he is willing to learn (coachable)  and glimpses of athleticism that cannot be taught. Not to mention he can play D. LeBron was +21.6 net rating, 64.3 EFG% with Jaylen on Bench and a -2.3 Net rating and 50.0 eFG% with Jaylen on the floor (CSNNE).  Plus Brown avg. 17 minutes as a rookie, 2.8 boards and 6.6 points. The ceiling is high and I see him and Rozier lighting up 2nd unit teams..  Not to mention he played in 78 games.  Brad trusts him.  I see him marking the leap just as Marcus Smart did.  – Josh @JoShBeRuBee

Smart Money on Brown

Most people will say, Smart. While I think Smart will have his best year yet, with Avery’a departure, I’ll have to give the nod to Jaylen The GOAT Brown. Last season when Avery went down with the injury, Jaylen took that SG position. The Celtics were 10-1 with him on the lineup. We have seen the flashes of what he can become. Statistically he will improve. On the court, you will see a different player and that will earn him lots of minutes. I’ve seen pictures of him this offseason — he looks even bigger (He already had a NBA body). His shooting will once again shock people. Handles still need some work, but I believe Brown to be the starting SG once the season begins. – Ricard0 @kaardovieira
Marcus Smart will work to improve this off season and will be an important player to the Celtics system this year. Smart brings intensity, strength and determination both on and off the floor. He struggles with his shooting woes but with practice and a consistent jump shot, I believe he could make the biggest leap. I’m think he will get a big upgrade in his minutes per game with Bradley gone.  He has some shoes to fill. Exciting times but I think Smart can rise to the occasion. – Mitch@mitchphillipsbc
Jaylen Brown should take the biggest leap this season. Marcus Smart will play above his head in a contract year. If you look at the money Roberson got on OKC 3/30 and Waiters in Miami 4/53. He will get that money or more in a weak free agent class – Joe @JoeyMurr
Looks like it’s a three way tie between Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford.  I was surprised to see a vet like Horford in the mix, but with a lot more room to move and surrounded by more play makers, his stats should go up.  All that said, I’m in the Jaylen Brown camp.  His production during the post season, the departure of Gerald Green and his off-the-court maturity (he hosted a dinner for new players) makes me think he has the tools.
Fans, who do you think takes the leap this year?