Fresh off their appearance in the 2022 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics aren't going to take their foot off the gas pedal this offseason as they look to clear the final hurdle and win a championship.
Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens told reporters that ownership has given the front office the green light to do what they need to in order to improve the roster.
There are certainly some areas where the Celtics could look to improve after their six-game series loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Their offense was erratic against the Warriors, including three straight games with fewer than 100 points (Games 4-6).
Prior to Game 6, Jared Dubin of FiveThirtyEight.com noted Boston's offensive efficiency in the first five games of the series ranged from 89.7 (Game 2) to 125.4 (Game 3).
Turnovers were often an easy tell to see if the Celtics were going to win or lose throughout the postseason.
"The Celtics are 13-2 this postseason and 2-0 during the Finals in games where they’ve coughed the ball up fewer than 15 times, while they are just 1-7 overall and 0-3 against Golden State when they’ve given the ball away 15 times or more," Dubin wrote.
In the decisive Game 6 that Golden State won 103-90, the Celtics committed 22 turnovers. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined to average 7.3 turnovers in 24 playoff games.
The Celtics are operating from a position of power right now. They finished second in the NBA in net rating (+7.5) with a top 10 ratings on offense and defense, per Basketball-Reference.com. The bulk of their roster remains under contract for multiple years.
Tatum and Brown are one of the best young duos in the NBA. Tatum is signed through the 2024-25 season with a player option for 2025-26. Brown has two years remaining on his current deal.
Marcus Smart, the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is signed through the 2025-26 season. Al Horford has a partially-guaranteed deal in 2022-23 that is expected to be fully guaranteed for $26.5 million, per Brian Robb of MassLive.com.
If the Celtics do make moves this offseason, it seems likely it will be for lower-profile players. They don't need to pursue superstars in free agency or trades to be a Finals contender next season.