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Who plays, Who stays, Who goes? - 11 players with 3-or-fewer years


With 10 players on the Celtics roster with three years-or-less experience, it now is time for coach Brad Stevens needs to sort this all out. Who plays - who stays - who goes? Here they are:

Payton Pritchard - rookie

Aaron Nesmith - rookie

Grant Williams - 1 year

Carsen Edwards - 1 year

Romeo Langford - 1 year

Tremont Waters - 1 year - 2-way contract

Tacko Fall - 1 year - 2-way contract

Javonte Green - 1 year

Robert Williams - 2 years

Amile Jefferson - 2 years  - Exhibit 10 contract

Semi Ojeleye - 3 years

I doubt that rookies, Nesmith and Pritchard, are going anywhere, and they really need to see some floor time early in the season to determine the wisdom of drafting them. Aaron was pegged by NBA TV as "most exciting rookie to watch this season" out of the League-wide rookie crop. Payton just seems like Danny Ainge's type of player.

Boston's 2-way player duo of Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters look once again to be spending most of their time with the Maine Red Claws. Tacko is improving, but still a raw talent. Tremont seems to be an NBA-level talent, but his size (5'10") makes him a limited-time player in Brad's systems.Both second-year men may be off to a weaker team via trade and see more time.

Grant Williams, Langford, Edwards and Green present the real conundrum. Grant appears to be a player that will have a solid NBA career, never rising to stardom. He seems to fit the Celtics future. Langford has appeared in more mock trades that I can count, but giving up on him so early could come back to haunt Danny Ainge.

Edwards is another matter. At 5'11", he certainly doesn't fit Stevens' all-wing-dream-of-a-lineup. He is another 1-year guy that needs more time with the Celtics to see what he can produce, but don't be surprised to see him packaged in a trade. I have absolutely no idea of Green's future with The Green. 

Of the 2-year players, Rob Williams is the real question mark. Is he for real, or is he just another Kedrick Brown, a superb athlete that just doesn't have it. We will find out this season. He tells us he is ready to make a leap, and he didn't mean above the rim. He can be spectacular if he gets his mind into his game, but a trade is probable if he doesn't. Jefferson is only on an Exhibit 10 deal, but will be good company for the Celtics cornerstone, and former teammate, Jayson Tatum.

Lastly, we have 3-year man, Semi Ojeleye. Semi is 26 years old, the age around-which most NBA players peak. Semi is in a figurative battle with Grant for consistent time in the rotation, or maybe even a roster spot. They have similar size and remarkably-similar stats from last season. Where they differ significantly is in their 3-point percentage. 

Ojeleye hit 37.8% of his treys (48-of-127), while Williams hit at a 25.0% rate (24-of-96). Stevens has indicated that Grant needs to hit those 3-pointers. So Williams has the edge on age (22 years old), but Semi (believe it or not) is the better long-ball shooter, and his defense has been stellar since he took to the Parquet. I doubt we will see both wings on the roster after the trade deadline .It all starts soon.



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