Power Ranking Celtics' Roster Entering 2022-23 NBA Season

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 8, 2022

Power Ranking Celtics' Roster Entering 2022-23 NBA Season

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    Boston - May 11: The Celtics Marcus Smart erupts in celebration after his teammate Jayson Tatum (0, back-round right) slammed home two second quarter points to put Boston ahead 51-38. Tatum is celebrating himself with teammate Jaylen Brown (7) in the background. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals between the Celtics and Bucks on May 11, 2022 at TD Garden in Boston. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
    Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    The Boston Celtics might have the NBA's most talented roster.

    That's lofty praise, obviously, but it's a defensible take.

    Once all of the puzzle pieces aligned midway through last season, the Shamrocks found their sprinting stride and didn't stop running until they were two wins shy of a world title. Then, they made a pair of impact acquisitions over the offseason by trading for Malcolm Brogdon and signing Danilo Gallinari, though the latter might already be out of the equation following a recent ACL tear.

    Either way, this squad is stacked, so let's weigh the individual parts against each other with a good, old-fashioned power ranking of all 12 players on the roster—two-way contracts and camp invites not included—based on their ability, potential production and importance to this team.

The Bottom Tier

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    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 15: Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics shoots the ball during 2022 NBA Finals Practice and Media Availability on June 15, 2022 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

    12. Luke Kornet

    Kornet is a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option, but when needed he offers both paint protection and a pinch of floor spacing.

    11. Sam Hauser

    Hauser logged fewer than 200 minutes last season (his first in the league), but during his short run, he splashed an impressive 43.2 percent of his long-range looks.

    10. Danilo Gallinari

    As a 6'10" sharpshooter, Gallinari had a chance to carve out a sizable role with this club. Alas, it's possible his torn ACL will keep him shelved for the entire campaign.

    9. Payton Pritchard

    Pritchard has struggled to lock down a consistent, prominent role in the rotation, but his three-ball is pure (career 41.2 percent), and he doesn't make many mistakes.

The Middle Tier

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    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 08: Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics reacts after a play with teammates Marcus Smart #36 and Grant Williams #12 in the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors during Game Three of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 08, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics won 116-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    8. Derrick White

    White can be helpful when he's assertive and making shots from distance, but even when he isn't checking those boxes, he still contributes as a ball-mover and versatile defender.

    7. Grant Williams

    Williams leveled up last season by finding consistency from three (106 triples on 41.1 percent shooting), and he gave this frontcourt some flexibility on defense.

    6. Al Horford

    Horford's counting categories might be on the decline, but his impact remains impressively large for a 36-year-old. He has razor-sharp instincts at both ends, and he can contort his game to fit whatever the team needs.

    5. Marcus Smart

    Last season, Smart won the Defensive Player of the Year award and dished a career-high 5.9 assists per contest, so maybe this ranking is too low. Then again, that goes to show how deep this roster is. Plus, despite all of the strides he has made on the offensive end, he still isn't a major threat to opposing defenses.

The Top Tier

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    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 10:  Jayson Tatum #0 and Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics walk off the court against the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the 2022 NBA Finals on June 10, 2022 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

    4. Malcolm Brogdon

    Brogdon needs to stay healthy to justify this ranking, and based on his recent history, that might be an uphill battle. If he can get out on the hardwood, though, he could be the perfect third option for this offense and another shape-shifting stopper on defense.

    3. Robert Williams III

    Williams' numbers may not always leap off the page, but he has played a massive role in Boston's recent success, and it feels like the 24-year-old is just getting started. He'll enter the 2022-23 campaign with a non-zero chance of making his All-Star debut and keeping the Defensive Player of the Year award in New England.

    2. Jaylen Brown

    You can nitpick Brown's handles and distributing, but that's about it. Otherwise, he's the type of two-way wing every modern NBA team wants. Getting this kind of production from a second option—23.6 points on 47.3/35.8/75.8 shooting and 3.5 assists per game—is enormous.

    1. Jayson Tatum

    Tatum has already cracked the Association's superstar tier, and chances are the 24-year-old hasn't even approached his peak yet. He garnered his first-ever All-NBA first-team selection last season, and he'll have a shot of keeping that spot for the better part of the next decade.

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