Who’s the Celtics Odd Man Out?

The 2017-2018 Boston Celtics season was cursed and blessed simultaneously. Fortunately, each curse came with its own little blessing alongside it.

Gordon Hayward/Jaylen Brown & Jayson Tatum

The first curse occurred 5 minutes into the first game of the season when Gordon Hayward went down for the entire season. This was a devastating loss as Gordon was Boston’s big offseason signing and was expected to lead the team alongside Kyrie Irving. The blessing that came alongside this curse was the emergence of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Jaylen Brown showed potential his rookie season, but nobody expected him to become debatably the best player for the Celtics in the playoffs. Then with Tatum, everybody knew he’d be a solid rookie, but the playing time he got let him develop into a stud in his first season. Tatum finished third in rookie of the year voting and is remembered for his dunk over Lebron in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Kyrie Irving/Terry Rozier

The other curse that hit Boston was Kyrie getting hurt and missing the entire playoffs. The loss of Kyrie needs no explanation to be understood as a gigantic loss. Irving’s absence created the entity of Scary Terry. Terry Rozier became an absolute monster as the Celtics starting point guard. His first start resulted in a triple double and from there he grew to stardom. I can comfortably say Terry Rozier and the Drew Bledsoe relationship became the most popular Celtics storyline from their playoff run. Rozier is a fan favorite and honestly plays like a remix of Kyrie Irving on offense and the scrappiness of Marcus Smart on defense; just a little worse on each end. He’s still young and should only be getting better.

All of these emergences provide the Celtics with an absolutely stacked roster going into next season. Unfortunately, there can only be 5 guys out on the court at a time. For this reason there has to be an odd man out or two.

Odd Man Out Candidates

Daniel Theis

Daniel Theis shocked all Celtics fans last year when he came on the scene and produced. Theis’ stats aren’t wowing as he only averaged 5.5ppg and 4.5rpg. That was in only 14 minutes however and his per 36 minutes stats turn out to be 12.7 points and 10.5 rebounds. He shot 54% from the field and was impressive in 1 on 1 defense, especially around the rim. Unfortunately, ahead of him in the rotation is Al Horford and Aron Baynes. The Celtics just drafted big man Robert Williams late in the first round and he will be trying to fight for playing time as well.

Marcus Morris

Marcus Morris fit with Boston perfectly last season. Morris was acquired last offseason in a trade from Detroit in exchange for Avery Bradley. First, Morris played with gritty defense that proved to be very helpful in the playoffs. He did somewhat of a decent job guarding Lebron. Also, Morris was a great three-point shooter. Although he seemed a bit selfish at times and took god awful shots every now and again, he provided nice scoring off the bench. He’s going into a contract year so he’s going to want to ball out. He’ll be sharing his minutes with Hayward, Tatum, Jaylen, and even Horford though. Yikes is all I have to say there.

Terry Rozier

Terry Rozier would be the last guy Boston would want to see lose a bunch of minutes next season. From the outside, it wouldn’t seem that Rozier would be losing minutes, but rather he’d be the backup point guard getting backup minutes. He will be the backup point guard, but the Celtics and a long lanky team that I can imagine will run a lot of bigger lineups. Lineups I’d imagine we’ll see is Smart at the points, Brown and Hayward at the wings, Horford at the 4 and Baynes at the 5. This summer it looks like Brown has picked up some ball handling ability and could run the point himself potentially. All of these factors could end up with Rozier being a bit left out of the loop.

Who will it Inevitably be?

Marcus Morris, I believe will be the player most affected by the team being at full strength. Not just by losing minutes, but also financially. He is a free agent after next season and probably wants to get paid decently. His current contract is just north of 5 million. With it looking like he won’t be getting more than 15 minutes a game, it is doubtful he will get a contract for much more than that. That issue for Morris bodes well for Boston however. With him more than likely not getting great free agency offers, there’s an increased chance for Boston to retain him. Of course, there is always the unfortunate chance of injuries that could provide Morris more playing time, but ideally the Celtics will have a healthy season. As long as Marcus Morris is all about winning, he shouldn’t have a huge problem with playing less.

-Brandon Black ()

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