Brad Stevens identifies Celtics’ biggest roster needs for 2022 offseason

Brad Stevens details the Celtics’ biggest roster needs this offseason, originally appearing on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics players are getting a well-deserved break after a busy season that ended two wins short of an NBA championship.

But with the 2022 NBA draft on Thursday and free agency beginning next week, the Celtics’ front office has things to do.

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens met with reporters Tuesday and was asked how he plans to improve Boston’s roster via draft, free agency or trade this offseason.

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“If you ask me now what we need, I’d like a little more goals – consistent scoring from the bench,” Stevens said in a video press conference. “I think that we have a short-term need.”

Boston’s lack of bank points was glaring in the 2022 NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors’ core reserves outperformed the Celtics’ backups in Games 5 and 6 along 52-9, and Boston’s starters looked tired while shouldering the goal burden. Grant Williams averaged just 4.2 points per game in the Finals, while Derrick White shot just 32.7 percent from the floor

Stevens mentioned that bench scoring could come from within if young players like Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith could have more consistent roles.

“I believe in a couple of the guys who haven’t been able to play that much, they’re going to keep improving and knock on that door soon,” added Stevens. “So we have some development opportunities within our own organization.”

In addition to looking for a good goalscorer off the bench, Stevens and company are also looking for players who can move the ball effectively.

“I think we need more playmaking. I think that’s real,” Stevens said. “I think we need more playmaking but I don’t think we can expect to stagnate. We have to make sure we keep going at pace.

“When we’re at our best we play with pace and when we gain an advantage the ball lashes across the pitch. I just thought we played pretty slow that last series (against Golden State).”

Boston’s offense stagnated against the Warriors as a result of that slower pace, with the C’s failing to break 100 points in all of their last three losses. Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have all made strides as presenters this season, but the Celtics could benefit from another ball mover who can keep their offense from bogging down at crucial moments.

NBA Free Agency begins next Thursday, June 30, while Stevens could also explore the commercial market to meet his team’s roster needs. We shouldn’t expect major shocks for a team that has reached the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years, but we shouldn’t expect the Celtics to remain quiet either as they aim to go straight to the Finals again next season to reach.

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