The NBA season is less than 3 months away from tip-off. The Boston Celtics are ready to roll again after falling short to reach the NBA Finals last season. After a great offseason by not trading away assets, signing back Marcus Smart, drafting Robert Williams and a successful summer by Irving, Hayward, and Theis, the Celtics are ready to retake the throne of the East. This team is one of the deepest and talented rosters in the NBA, capable of dethroning the Golden State Warriors.
These X-factors won’t play tons of minutes during this season, but if the injury bug hits this team again, it will be their time to show the basketball world what they are capable of.
Here are the Celtics X-factors for the 2018-2019 season:
Brad Wanamaker is a huge question mark for fans who haven’t watched him play. After spending time playing professionally in Europe, Wanamaker has finally got the chance to showcase his skills among the best basketball players. He’s got the size, combo guard skills who is excellent defensively which is a perfect fit for this team. With Larkin gone, Wanamaker will take his spot and hopefully his role as a spark when needed.
Daniel Theis shocked the whole Celtics nation last season by providing a spark with his defensive hustle and, timely offense, unfortunately, his excellent rookie year was cut short because of a knee injury he sustained during the regular season. Now that he’s healthy again, he’s ready to show excellence even in limited minutes.
After a fantastic summer league showing, Jabari Bird finally got the attention of the Celtics front office and replaced Nader on the roster. He definitely showed great strides with his summer league performance. Although he’s not expected to play 15-20 minutes per game, his time will come especially if Boston’s guards are injured and Brad Stevens won’t hesitate to pull him off the bench.
Semi Ojeleye is definitely a steal for this team. He showed everyone last season that he can guard and lock down superstars like Giannis Antetokounmpo which this team needs for them to conquer the East and hopefully the NBA. Ojeleye will definitely have that role similar to James Posey during 07-08 season that leads to banner 17. With his shooting prowess behind the arc and physical gifts, he will undoubtedly play a huge role next season.
Guerschon Yabusele is definitely a fan favorite because of his bench reactions and dab every time he hits a 3 point shot. He has definitely lost some weight compared to last season and showed vast improvement in the past summer league. He can positively contribute offensively and defensively as a stretch four or five for the next season, but with everyone healthy, he won’t have too much playing time.
Honorable mention: Robert Williams III