It would seem that the Boston Celtics players benefit from playing alongside Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Who could have imagined?
The Celtics lost a number of players over the summer; the most significant names to go on were Grant Williams, Robert Williams III, Malcolm Brogdon, and Marcus Smart. Additionally, they are being seen quite differently by NBA media.
A couple of now-ex-Celtics were moved down ESPN’s annual list of the league’s top players.
Robert Williams III dropped from position 58 in 2022 to position 89 in 2023. The new Trail Blazers big man’s final season in Boston was derailed by injury, but he will also be playing a position that is unknown to him in Portland. He’ll probably assist Deandre Ayton, although he’ll also start games sometimes. His talent to play above the rim is undeniable, but with so many young guards being expected to pass the ball, he could find it difficult to establish a position on offense.
The ranking of Smart dropped as well; from 34 last season to 59 this year.
Given that he has only ever played in Boston and will no longer have two top scorers on his wings, his decline makes sense. During Ja Morant’s suspension, he will be responsible for leading the Memphis Grizzlies’ attack, but the transition might be difficult.
Grant Williams moved up two slots, from 99 to 97, but the Dallas Mavericks will also be giving him a much bigger role. In 2022, Brogdon was rated No. 87, but in 2023, he did not appear in the top 50.
Kristaps Porzingis, a rookie to the Celtics, saw his ranking rise from No. 86 to No. 62, and if all goes according to plan in his first season with Boston, he might see another significant rise the following year. The positions of Tatum (No. 7 in 2022), Brown (No. 22), and Jrue Holiday (No. 26) in the top 50 will be made public.