Celtics: Projecting Brad Stevens’ Starting Five and Rotation

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Mar 16, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) is guarded by Philadelphia 76ers forward Jerami Grant (39) during the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly Olynyk, PF/C

One of the more interesting players on this roster, Kelly Olynyk really has a chance to come into his own this season.

Olynyk is a seven-footer with an impressive overall skill-set. He can handle the ball much better than most post players, and has great range. He is almost like a guard trapped in a seven-footer’s body. That is an exciting skill-set to dream on, but Olynyk has yet to put it all together at this level.

The biggest issue is his lack of physicality down low. Olynyk is simply not a strong player, and he allows himself to get pushed around down low on both sides of the court. Sure he can step out and make a play on a bigger and slower defender, but Olynyk does not do that often enough to combat getting out-muscled on a consistent basis.

The skills are all there for Olynyk to be great, and the Celtics are going to give him an opportunity to prove himself. That being said, this is a deep rotation, and if he does not perform, somebody will be there to take his minutes. The time to shine is now for Olynyk, and his strong start to the preseason is promising.

Terry Rozier, G

Terry Rozier was not exactly a popular pick when the Celtics took him with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. That being said, he has shown his worth early in the preseason slate, and appears to be on his way to having a nice role with this team.

Rozier is an extremely explosive, athletic and aggressive player on both sides of the court. He is a bit undersized at 6-foot-2, but Rozier is a true menace on the defensive end of the court. He using his incredible quickness and aggressiveness to his advantage defensively, and it helps him continuously make plays.

He is also a force on the offensive end, showing the ability to make plays consistently with the ball in his hands. Rozier is not a particularly impressive shooter, but he is able to create his own shot in the lane, and set up successful plays for his teammates. With so much depth, the Celtics will probably bring Rozier along slowly, but he is certainly a player to watch in the rotation.

Jared Sullinger, PF/C

Jared Sullinger seems to be on the outside looking in on Stevens’ big man rotation. He is a talented player with a well-rounded offensive game, but Sullinger has never been able to prove himself on a consistent basis. On top of that, he just does not seem to be a strong fit for what Stevens is trying to do, mostly coming down to him being too slow on the defensive end.

The Celtics drafted him to be a legitimate post scorer, but they traded for Lee to do that this off season. Obviously, they were not happy with his progression, and the early preseason games are showing Stevens’ lack of trust in the big man.

I do not see Sullinger making much of an impact on this deep team, but he is a nice player to have around in case of emergency. The talent is still there, but Sullinger is going to have to show so much more than he has so far in his NBA career.

Next: Even MORE Depth