Power rankings in back half of Celtics’ training camp roster

The Boston Celtics finished training camp in less than two weeks. While most of the summer is at the top of the roster and A. was spent in obsession about the possibility of Jaylen BrownAs for the -Kevin Durant swap, over the past few weeks the focus has shifted to the back end of the roster.

with danilo gallinari With an ACL tear likely to be out for the season, the Celtics’ deep depth has come into focus. Gallinari may have been part of Boston’s 10-man corps, but his absence leaves some question marks for entering camp, especially on Boston’s thin frontcourt.

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Now, Boston’s success will almost certainly be decided by those in the top 8, but especially at this time of year, everyone loves a good backup quarterback. So let’s revise some end-of-the-roster hype trains before camp.

The Celtics are set to bring on a collection of well-known faces and former first-round picks to battle for a spot on the back end of a roster that still has three open positions. It’s likely that Boston will fill two of those spots, but leave the 15th spot open to maximize potential in-season maneuverability (and while already saving $19 million in luxury tax).

Since Boston is bringing back its top 8 from last season and added Malcolm BrogdonWe can move to the top half of the roster power rankings with something like 1. jason tatum2. Jaylen Brown, 3. Marcus Smart4. Robert Williams III, 5. Al Horford, 6. Brogdon, 7. Derrick White, 8. Grant Williams, and 9. Peyton Pritchard. Quite a quibble if you want, but from what we saw last season, it seems reasonable to prioritize.

Those dreaming about Carmelo Anthony or any other experienced addition will have to be patient. The Celtics will give camp bodies every opportunity to assert themselves before considering the need to add a more experienced player, especially given the already bloated luxury tax bill.

10. Sam Hauser: The un-drafted sharpshooter was promoted to the parent roster in the middle of his rookie year and Gallinari would get the first crack at filling the void. The 24-year-old has the size and shooting talent that Gallinari has to offer, but must show that he can influence the offense in other ways, while also making sure he is not a targeted defender. Boston’s top-end depth should give a much higher quality look to Hauser.

11. Luke Cornet: The largest body (7-foot-2,250 pounds) on Boston’s roster, Cornet may be more substantial than most expect. He’s shown enough over parts of two seasons that the Boston brass is comfortable that he could be third or fourth center with a bigger role than we’ve seen at this point. The cornet can spill out onto the floor and spill out onto the glass. Can he log big minutes against Joel Embiid? The Celtics are hoping they won’t need to find out but Horford, 36, may have managed his time or Robert Williams is battling any injuries.

12. Mafiyondu Kabenzele: After shining in the Summer League, the former first-round pick (27th in 2019) signed a two-way deal with Boston and could add the required frontcourt depth. Dikembe Mutombo’s nephew is a rim runner who demonstrated stealth alley skills in Vegas. He needs to take his defense up a notch but he is a solid rebounder for his size. The Celtics are hoping that Kabenzele can thrive in a role devoid of draft-day expectations.

13. JD Davison: Don’t get me wrong here: Davison will almost certainly spend most of the season in Maine garnering much-needed rep after his solitary season in Alabama. But he is ahead of everyone below him on this list because he is already on a two-way deal. That is emergency depth if the injury wipes out Boston’s surplus of ball-handling depth.

14. Jake Layman: This isn’t just some feel-good, local-boy-come-home-for-camp story. The 6-foot-8 swingman has 243 games of NBA experience and was a serviceable reserve in Portland and Minnesota. The Celtics could benefit from some feather depth and the Rantham native should make a case for staying in camp.

15. Justin Jackson: One of several former first-round picks (15th overall in 2017) who camp in Boston to compete for depth spots, Jackson was a late addition to Boston’s summer roster. He also made a cameo in a game here last season when the team needed bodies. His size and 3-point shooting could likewise aid Boston’s wing depth.

16. Brodrick Thomas: A two-way player for Boston last season, Thomas’s side is familiar, but Boston should show progress in his game to consider moving another guard with one of those final spots.

17. Noah Vonleh: The ninth overall pick in 2014, Wonleh has plenty of NBA experience, but spent all of the 2021–22 season playing overseas in China. His Massachusetts roots are another good camp storyline, but he hasn’t played consecutive NBA minutes since his 68-game stint with the Knicks in 2018-19.

18. Bruno Caboclo: After Caboco was drafted with the 20th pick in 2014, ESPN analyst Fran Frasilla declared him, “two years away from being two years away.” That was eight years ago. Caboclo has played double-digit minutes only once in an NBA game since the bubble. The 6-foot-9 forward was an MVP in Brazil last season and is still a physical marvel with a crazy wingspan.

19. Denzel Valentine: The 14th pick in the 2016 draft was with Boston’s G-League ally in Maine at the end of last season. He is 28 years old and is facing long odds to make it to the final roster. But he has 256 games of NBA experience and should at least get another chance to emigrate to Maine with the hopes of furthering his NBA career.

* Gallinari: Rehab will almost certainly cost Gallinari his season. He can still be a quality veteran all around the team. I wish the tax-ridden Celtics could consider packaging him (and the rest of the player option years on his deal) in hopes of adding a slice of a different veteran depth. Otherwise, they are paying big bucks and crossing their fingers that Gallinari could bounce back from injury to become a contributor next season at age 35.

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