Pre-Draft Analysis

Areas Of Strength
No team has a brighter future than the Boston Celtics, and the present is pretty good too. The Celtics surpassed expectations in the postseason, reaching Game 7 of the conference finals without Gordon Hayward or Kyrie Irving. They are the favorite to rule the Eastern Conference for the next several years, with the league's best defense as a foundation and the development of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum giving them a high ceiling on offense. They still have more assets to use to acquire more talent, with future first-round picks coming from the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies (and maybe the LA Clippers, too).

Needs Work
Even in the 60 games that Irving played this season, the Celtics' offense was average. And it fell flat as they were eliminated in Game 7 of the conference finals. It should be better with a healthy Hayward and with Brown and Tatum adding to their games. However, Boston has some roster decisions to make the next couple of summers as Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier will hit restricted free agency.

Two Stats That Matter
101.5 -- The Celtics had the No. 1 defense in the league, allowing just 101.5 points per 100 possessions, this season. That started with their opponents shooting a league-low 33.9 percent from 3-point range.

18 percent -- With a trip to The Finals on the line in Game 7 of the conference finals, the Celtics, who ranked second in 3-point percentage in the regular season, shot 7-for-39 (18 percent) from 3-point range.

The Way To Go

With how well he's drafted in the last few years, there's no pressure on Celtics president Danny Ainge at No. 27. He'll surely explore trades for any stars that may hit the market, but it would be difficult to deal either Brown or Tatum, no matter who might be coming to Boston. The Celtics have a chance to keep their rotation together, though retaining both Smart and Aron Baynes could be difficult. Either way, they should be the favorite to win the East next year

2017-18 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank) 
Offensive: 105.2 (18th)
Defensive: 101.5 (1st)

Under Contract
G/F: Jaylen Brown
F: Gordon Hayward
F/C: Al Horford
G: Kyrie Irving
F: Marcus Morris
F: Abdel Nader
F: Semi Ojeleye
G: Terry Rozier
F: Jayson Tatum
F/C: Daniel Theis
F: Guerschon Yabusele

Free Agents
C: Aron Baynes (unrestricted)
G: Jonathan Gibson (restricted)
G: Shane Larkin (unrestricted)
C/F: Greg Monroe (unrestricted)
G: Marcus Smart (restricted)

Recent Draft History
Jayson Tatum (3); Semi Ojeleye (37); Kadeem Allen (53); Jabari Bird (56)
2016: Jaylen Brown (3); Guerschon Yabusele (16); Ante Zizic (23); Deyonta Davis (31), traded to Memphis; Rade Zagorac (35), traded to Memphis; Demetrius Jackson (45); Ben Bentil (51); Abdel Nader (58)
2015: Terry Rozier (16); R.J. Hunter (28); Jordan Mickey (33); Marcus Thornton (45)
2014: Marcus Smart (6); James Young (17)
2013: Lucas Nogueira (traded to Atlanta)
2012: Jared Sullinger (21); Fab Melo (22); Kris Joseph (51)

-- John Schuhmann

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