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Boston Celtics roster 2013: A puzzle not yet put together

The Boston Celtics' rebuilt roster has a lot of questions, and the determining factor in it will be whether first-year coach Brad Stevens plays his veterans or goes the developmental route.


Predicting what the Boston Celtics rotations will look like before training camp is like blindly throwing darts. There are a few established NBA players on the gutted roster, but after that, it could be a free-for-all for minutes.

First-year coach Brad Stevens, however, will have his philosophies. He could doll minutes out with a developmental approach, or Stevens might use the veterans who came over in the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade with the Brooklyn Nets.

Probable starters

Rajon Rondo -- Rondo is nothing but a lock to start at point guard for Boston, but Stevens isn't putting a timeline on Rondo to return from his ACL injury. When he does come back, he'll be without many established scorers on the roster. Last season's NBA assist leader will now be tasked with creating his own scoring opportunities, something he hasn't needed to do in his seven-year career.

Jeff Green -- The Celtics have always liked Green, and during a season where injuries led to opportunity, the 27-year-old forward finally came out of his shell. In the 2013 playoffs, Green averaged 20.3 points per game. He will be counted on to play a lot of minutes at both forward slots and to keep up his scoring pace. Green can go inside and out, but never before has he been needed to play the role as a team's best scorer.

Avery Bradley -- The defensive hound will begin the season as a starting point guard, but he could slide to the shooting guard spot when Rondo returns from his ACL injury. That would give Boston a very small backcourt, but Bradley's defensive abilities could make up for his size. His athleticism in the open floor could give Stevens a fast and dangerous backcourt to complement a small roster.

Brandon Bass -- Bass played a big role, but in an small frontcourt with Garnett and Pierce in 2012-13. With the physicality at 250 pounds to play inside, Bass very well could see a lot of time at the center spot considering the lack of size elsewhere on the roster. He averaged 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game during the regular season last year.

Gerald Wallace -- Wallace could be viewed simply as a salary necessary to complete the blockbuster trade of the summer, but it could be hard to keep him off the court. While he's coming off his worst statistical season since 2003-04, Wallace could bolster a roster that will rely on defense and scoring off opponent turnovers to get by.

Rotation players

MarShon Brooks -- Buried on the Nets' bench last season, Brooks could have enough minutes to recapture his swagger from his rookie campaign two years ago, when he averaged 12.6 points per game. He is one of the few Celtics who is able to create his own shot. If he can improve his strength and learn to attack off the dribble more, all the better.

Jordan Crawford -- Crawford is a volume shooter, but after being acquired from the Washington Wizards last season, he did flash an ability as a playmaker. The fourth-year pro is in the same boat as Brooks. He's still young, still has room to grow and will be one of few Boston players capable of scoring when the shot clock hits single-digits.

Courtney Lee -- Where Lee falls into the rotation will be fascinating. He is fighting Crawford, Brooks and Bradley for playing time. As the oldest member of that group, he has the advantage of experience. He's also the best pure shooter.

Jared Sullinger -- Sullinger entered the offseason with the task of recovering from midseason back surgery, but he leaves the summer looking to shed a recent arrest. If he can tackle both issues, the 21-year-old power forward will likely be a key contributor.

Kelly Olynyk -- Though he's dealt with plantar fasciitis this summer, Olynyk brings a compelling shooting skillset to the power forward position. He must prove he's physical enough if he wants playing time. It helps that he lit it up in Summer League.

Deep on the bench

Phil Pressey -- There might be good reason to place Pressey firmly in the rotation, because he's the only pure point guard not named Rondo. Even if Boston doesn't trust him because of his youth, the undrafted rookie out of Missouri could find himself playing if Rondo's return isn't soon and his replacements don't do well.

Keith Bogans -- He made out with a nice salary as the signing of a sign-and-trade deal, but whether Bogans earns a spot in the rotation is unclear. The veteran guard brings a lot of defense, but it's hard to see him playing instead of some of the more versatile and younger shooting guards on the roster.

Vitor Faverani -- El Hombre Indestructible. That's Faverani's nickname, and that alone makes him another potential rotation player. The 6'11, 260-pound big man is one that gives Boston some size up front.

Kris Humphries -- Humphries averaged 5.8 point and 5.6 rebounds per game last season in Brooklyn, and his status with the Celtics is murky. He's a potential double-double machine on a bad team if he gets minutes, but adds little else than physicality and hustle. It's more likely Boston gives power forward minutes to rookie Kelly Olynyk and Sullinger, but ifFaverani doesn't pan out, Humphries will be valuable as a body at center, at the least.

Head coach

Brad Stevens -- The first NBA gig for the former Butler coach is no walk in the park. He joins Boston needing to earn the respect from a strong personality in Rondo, but he'll also need to develop the many young players on the Celtics' roster. As the season goes on, it's likely losing will take its toll. How Stevens keeps his team's attention will make or break his season.

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