Friday, December 1 2023

New NBA Top 100 players ranking highlights Celtics’ loaded roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The jury is still out on whether the Marcus Smart-Kristaps Porzingis trade will work in the Boston Celtics‘ favor.

But make no mistake: They’ll have lofty expectations entering the 2023-24 season.

Bleacher Report recently released its predictions for the top 100 players in the NBA this upcoming season, polling a panel of nearly 20 basketball experts to determine its list. As you might expect, the Celtics are well-represented, with six players in B/R’s top 100 — tied with the Golden State Warriors for the most of any NBA team — and two in the top 20.

Here is the Boston Six and each player’s rank:

This group has a slightly better average ranking than Golden State’s six players — Stephen Curry (6), Andrew Wiggins (45), Draymond Green (49), Klay Thompson (60), Chris Paul (69) and Kevon Looney (98) — so based on that math, the Celtics have the most talented roster in the league.

Championship aren’t won on subjective player rankings, of course, and there’s an obvious wild card here for Boston: Porzingis, Williams and Brogdon all have notable injury histories. Porzingis was acquired to be the Celtics’ third star behind Tatum and Brown, but if he misses significant time, that could derail Boston’s quest for Banner 18.

Still, this ranking is a testament to the Celtics’ impressive depth. The C’s have a bona fide superstar in Tatum, who trails only Joel Embiid (4), Luka Doncic (3), Giannis Antetokounmpo (2) and Nikola Jokic (1) on this list. Jaylen Brown has blossomed into an elite two-way wing who just signed the richest contract in NBA history.

White wasn’t even a consideration for B/R’s top 100 last season but is expected to start at point guard in Smart‘s absence this season after a career season in 2022-23. Boston’s lone starter not in the top 100, Al Horford, is a five-time All-Star with 167 games of playoff experience, and the team even has a top-100 player on its bench in Brogdon.

That’s all to say the Celtics are set up to succeed in 2023-24 after falling one game short of two straight NBA Finals appearances in June. It will be up to head coach Joe Mazzulla and a revamped coaching staff to get the most out of this talented roster, and it will be up to Boston’s top players to stay healthy if they want to complete their mission of winning the franchise’s first championship since 2008.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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