The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Boston Celtics, who will bank on a coaching change unlocking young players to supplement Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Boston Celtics 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Al Horford, Dennis Schroder, Enes Kanter
The Celtics brought back Horford to shore up the interior defensively, but Schroder was the surprise move of the offseason. The point guard lost a lot of money betting on himself and could be a strong addition, but also has the tendency to do too much and make poor decisions. Kanter is a nice bench big.
Key departures: Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier
Walker struggled with knee issues from time to time in his Boston tenure, but ultimately the Celtics will miss his veteran leadership. Fournier’s shooting being gone will also hurt the team. These two were key pieces of the playoff rotation last season, so head coach Ime Udoka has some work to do figuring out replacements.
The Celtics should make the playoffs. Tatum, Brown and Horford are good enough to get the job done in that regard. This season will be more about evaluating how Aaron Nesmith, Romeo Langford and Grant Williams fit into this rotation. Can these players be valuable contributors on a championship-caliber team or are they simply filler pieces?
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Dennis Schroder
Schroder is entering a contract season after turning down a massive extension from the Lakers. The point guard found no suitors in the market for his price point and ended up settling for a one-year deal to bet on himself again. He should be the starting point guard in Boston and is capable of putting up big numbers. Schroder is a strong value play in DFS and fantasy lineups, but he will also make frustrating plays to hurt your team. He’ll be the most interesting player on this team to evaluate during the season.