2022 Celtics Roster: Breakdown of Players Reporting to Training Camp

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 29, 2022

2022 Celtics Roster: Breakdown of Players Reporting to Training Camp

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    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 16: Jayson Tatum #0 and Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics look on against the Golden State Warriors during Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals on June 16, 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

    The Boston Celtics finished the 2021-22 NBA season just two wins shy of a title.

    They'll start the 2022-23 campaign in a very different place.

    The championship expectations remain, but so much else seems new. Head coach Ime Udoka was suspended for the season, leaving assistant Joe Mazzulla to handle the gig on an interim basis. Newcomer Malcolm Brogdon should factor prominently into the backcourt rotation. Fellow newcomer Danilo Gallinari would have done the same up front, but an ACL tear could cost him the entire campaign.

    Robert Williams III is on the shelf, too, as knee surgery could sideline him for multiple months.

    There is plenty going on with the Shamrocks, so let's help bring you up to speed by laying out their training camp roster, examining some of the position battles and trying to identify what this club hopes to accomplish at camp.

Training Camp Roster

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    Boston, MA - July 12: The Boston Celtics introduced new player Malcolm Brogdon at a morning  press conference at the Auerbach Center. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
    Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    Malcolm Brogdon, G

    Jaylen Brown, G/F

    JD Davison, G (two-way contract)

    Danilo Gallinari, F

    Sam Hauser, F

    Al Horford, F/C

    Justin Jackson, F (camp contract)

    Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C (two-way contract)

    Luke Kornet, C (partial guarantee)

    Jake Layman, F (camp contract)

    Payton Pritchard, G

    Luka Samanic, F (camp contract)

    Marcus Smart, G

    Jayson Tatum, F

    Brodric Thomas, G (camp contract)

    Denzel Valentine, G/F (camp contract)

    Noah Vonleh, F/C (camp contract)

    Derrick White, G

    Grant Williams, F/C

    Robert Williams III, C

Camp Battles

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    CANTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Luke Kornet #40 of the Boston Celtics poses for photos during Boston Celtics Media Day at High Output Studios on September 26, 2022 in Canton, 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. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
    Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

    Boston's first order of business is redirecting under Mazzulla. However, this might be the rare case in which something is easier done than said, since he has been in this system and has an established relationship with a lot of the players already.

    "It would've been different if we had somebody new that we didn't know and were trying to build that connection with," Marcus Smart told reporters. "Joe has been here. He knows the scheme, he knows the players, so it makes it a little bit more easier to adjust to a guy that's been here and knows you."

    It also helps that this core has so much continuity and shared success, as Boston doesn't need to do nearly as much roster shuffling as many teams will. However, there are a few items to sort out.

    The Celtics need someone to hold down Robert Williams III's spot in the starting lineup, and surprisingly, Luke Kornet has gotten the first crack at it in camp. They also need someone to fill the void created by Gallinari's injury. Sam Hauser was likely looking at a big role increase already, but a solid training camp could solidify his spot as a rotation regular. Finally, Payton Pritchard needs to push for his rotation spot, since Boston has enough backcourt depth to survive without him should it choose to take that route.

Goals

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    CANTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics poses for photos during Boston Celtics Media Day at High Output Studios on September 26, 2022 in Canton, 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. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
    Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

    The biggest thing for Boston to find right now is alignment. You'd think that would be a simple task for a team coming off of the season it just had, and maybe it will be.

    Then again, Jaylen Brown heard his name bouncing around the trade rumor mill this summer. Grant Williams and Al Horford are going into the final year of their contracts. Marcus Smart might need to elevate his offensive output to avoid having the ball taken out of his hands and entrusted to Malcolm Brogdon. Players like Pritchard, Houser, Kornet and, to a certain extent, even Derrick White must solidify their standing with their squad.

    There are a lot of competing individual goals that could pull people away from the team's shared goal if they aren't processed right. Balancing them is one of the trickiest tasks for any coach, let alone an interim coach filling the sideline's best seat for the first time.

    Boston's experience and proximity to a title could be enough to hold this locker room together, though, and if the Celtics stay united, then they'll remain one of the league's heavyweight contenders.

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