With Hayward on board, the Celtics now have three All-Star caliber players (Hayward, Thomas and Al Horford, who signed last year) ready to give opposing defenses fits. The Celtics are also deep, thanks to those aforementioned high draft picks.
Ricardo Louis Womens Jersey With Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown and 2017 draft pick Jayson Tatum already on the roster, Boston legitimately now has four quality small forwards. Someone is likely to be moved, which means the Celtics could still improve from now until the regular season begins. The Celtics will move on from 7-footer Kelly Olynyk.
Authentic Cobi Hamilton Jersey Hayward does make the Celtics a better team than they were without him. Not only is he talented on offense, he is an underrated defender who can cover either wing position. Small forward was far from Boston’s biggest need, but they now have the option to play multiple small forwards at the same time.
Hayward can move to shooting guard, allowing Brown to play the three. Crowder, though undersized at 6-6, could play power forward similarly to how Draymond Green plays it for the Warriors. The Celtics will have more positional flexibility next season.
The most pressure is on left tackle Donovan Smith to better protect Winston’s blind side after a rough 2016. Left guard looks like Kevin Pamphile’s job to lose with holdovers Joe Hawley and Evan Smith as the uninspiring competition. Right tackle Demar Dotson, who turns 32 in October, offers the most experience and stability.
This is a middle-of-pack line at very best, but when you throw in Howard and Brate, there’s a significant boost. Marpet leads a group that remains better in run blocking. Winston was sacked 35 times in Year 2 (once per 17.2 dropbacks) after taking 27 sacks (once per 20.8 dropbacks) as a rookie. Keeping him under 30 again will be a great sign for the type of season he can have.