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The next step in reconstructing the Boston Celtics roster

 The development and recent performance of Robert Williams III is changing the way I think about the current "poorly-constructed" Celtics roster and what changes are needed. This from CelticsBlog's Adam Taylor:



For all the talk of a Big Three and trading for the team's next star player, we would all do well to remember that Williams’ star is still rising, and he could well be the third prong in a potent offensive trident. And if the Celtics believe that to be the case, and Williams continues to prove his health is on the up, then any potential move in the coming weeks should focus on a ball-handler to help expedite the next steps in his development.

Taylor got it right. Flash back to the 1973-74 Celtics crew. Don Chaney's primary role was defensive stopper, and that is what Marcus Smart does best. What the Celtics should look for is a pass-first point guard that thrives on penetration and facilitation - but can't be left alone on the perimeter. Sounds like the Grizzlies Ja Morant, doesn't it.

Well, Ja may be out of reach for Brad Stevens, but a reasonable facsimile would work fine.I have rated Rob Williams as the best Celtics athletic big man since Bill Russell, but Cowens doesn't trail Rob that much for that specific category.

Yes, Rob could end up as that "third prong" next to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. At least one of my followers has suggested keeping Williams III as the starting center and having Al Horford work with the second-unit crew.

That suggestion may have merit, but the point remains that  the Celtics need to look for that penetrating/facilitating ball handler to perform next to Smart in the backcourt. JoJo White handled that role nicely for the 70's Celtics who relied heavily on only six players (Cowens, White, Chaney, John Havlicek, Paul Silas, Don Nelson) who shared scoring responsibility with all six scoring in double digits.

Watching Ja Morant and the Grizzlies take out the Warriors last night for their 10th win in a row, I was reminded not only of Morant's smooth and efficient penetration - but also the fact that with him out of the lineup for a number of games, his comrades stepped up their defense and that remains now that the superbly-athletic Morant is back. Can the Celtics find another replica out there?



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