Boston Celtics 2021 Roster: What the Team Looks Like After Trades and Free Agency Signings

Published 12/08/2020, 2:00 PM EST

The Boston Celtics had a decent outing in the 2019-20 season. They finished the season with the 3rd best record in the Eastern Conference.


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They even reached the Eastern Conference Finals, but some missing players like Gordon Hayward cost them the series against the Miami Heat.

The team lacked able backup point guards who had good playmaking ability. They also lacked a good starting center and had to start either Enes Kanter or Daniel Theis.


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Did they address all their problems this off season? Let’s take a look.

Boston Celtics transactions: Players signed via trades and free agency

The most notable addition to the Boston Celtics was 2016 NBA champion Tristan Thompson. Thompson is a good defender and a very efficient offensive rebounder. The Celtics specifically lacked the latter.

The addition of Thompson is a big upgrade in the center position. Daniel Theis did show that he can be a starter, but if you are competing for the championship, you need a player who has ample playoff experience. Thompson certainly fits all those criteria.

The Celtics also added Jeff Teague. Teague is a veteran guard and can easily fill in as the backup point guard for the team. The team seriously lacked a quality backup.

In Teague they are getting a decent playmaker who can also add some crucial points on the board. With their star Kemba Walker probably missing some games during the start of the season, Teague might get a starting role for the team.

The team also drafted Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard. Nesmith was the best shooter in his class, averaging 52.2% from the deep. If he can adjust to the NBA’s pace and is as effective as he was in college last season, he is a steal.

Pritchard meanwhile adds more depth to the guard rotation. If Walker misses the start of the season, Pritchard will probably get much more playing time than anticipated.

However, the biggest move for the Celtics was the re-signing of Jayson Tatum. Tatum is the centerpiece of the team and has formed a formidable duo with Jaylen Brown.

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics with ball during the Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics NBA regular season game at Scotiabank Arena on October 19, 2018 in Toronto, Canada (Toronto Raptors win 113-101) (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Celtics know that they need to retain both these superstars in order to be successful. Tatum signed a 5-year rookie max deal worth $195 million.

Boston needed a better center and a quality backup point guard. Danny Ainge has successfully fulfilled the team’s needs this off season.

Players the Celtics lost

The biggest loss for the Celtics was Gordon Hayward. Hayward was one of the biggest names in this free agency. There were multiple rumors that the Celtics were in talks for a trade with the Indiana Pacers.

Reportedly they would have acquired 24-year-old Myles Turner, a first-round pick and an additional player. This would have been great for their future.

Sep 25, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) controls the ball against the Miami Heat during the second half in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

That did not happen, and the Celtics lost Hayward for free. The 2016-17 All-Star was the fourth scoring option for the team. Without Hayward, the Celtics will turn to other stars like Marcus Smart to step up and contribute in the offense.


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The other player they lost was Enes Kanter. They traded away Kanter in a three-team deal to acquire a future Memphis draft consideration. He was an able backup center for the team, but with Thompson, Celtics won’t be worried about the same.

They also traded Vincent Poirier, who was also a backup center for the team. He was traded to the OKC Thunder for a future second-round pick.

Last season’s backup point guard Brad Wanamaker was also not re-signed. Wanamaker has gone on to sign with the Golden State Warriors.


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The Boston Celtics have addressed the issues they had last season, but the loss of Gordon Hayward has depleted their offense. Despite that, they will still be a juggernaut in the Eastern Conference.


Aditya Mohapatra

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Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.