Last year Kemba, Brown, Hayward, Tatum, and Thies was the most common starting five when healthy last season. With the roster looking different this upcoming season, that's bound to change. The Celtics have a contending roster, and the possibilities are endless so let's look at who should start.
The first and most important thing is knowing who is locked-in as a starter. Those guys are Kemba, Tatum, and Brown. They are starting any game they are healthy, assuming no massive downshifts in play. So the only questions are about those other two other spots. The best possible lineup would throw in Smart and the newly acquired Tristan Thompson. This lineup is just the top five players on the team. It checks off all the boxes you'd want with solid rebounding, perimeter defense, plenty of scoring options, and unselfish play. Even with this all being true, this is not the lineup the Celtics should go with next season.
Marcus Smart is one of the best sixth men in the league and produces a much-needed spark right when he steps on the court. Leaving him on the bench is the best option. The problem with Tristan Thompson starting is that he does not do the little things that Daniel Thies does. Thies will be the starting center as he does such a great job with getting Jaylen and Jayson open, but that other starter is the big mystery. Nesmith is one option, but then the bench shooting is nearly non-existent. Teague is also interesting, but his playmaking needs to be there for when Kemba comes out. So the only option that makes sense would be Grant Williams.
Grant Williams finished his career at Tennessee as the leader in free throws made. (Photo by: Maddie Meyer Getty Images)
Grant is one of the league's most versatile defenders and came around on his jump shot during the bubble. He went from a terrible 25% during the regular season to hitting 10 of his 17 attempts during the playoffs. That 58% is unsustainable, but the Celtics would only need him to shoot a 35% clip to make him a viable starter for the team. He also has been noted as one of the team's most loved locker room guys. Williams also brings unmatched energy and effort. Grant adds enough rebounding to make up for Thies. Defensively he conducts a presence on all three levels and has a switch-ability that no other Celtics big man has. He's the perfect fit for the gameplan and will perform well if given the opportunity. Any lineup the Celtics send out will be successful due to the talent on the team, but this is exciting to think about with the season nearing in.
Author: Daniel O'Donovan