The Celtics used 14 different starting lineups last season.
With the way the roster is currently constructed, Brad Stevens could easily double that number during the 2015-16 season.
But what you see now most likely isn’t what you’ll get come Game 1 of the season. Already this offseason, the Celtics agreed to trade Gerald Wallace to the Warriors for David Lee. They also acquired Perry Jones from the Thunder for essentially nothing.
With a plethora of power forwards and guards, there’s a very good chance more players are on their way out as Danny Ainge tries to build a complete roster.
So let’s go through the roster and look at each player’s likeliness of either being traded before or during the season. Remember – nobody on this team is untouchable:
Most likely: Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, James Young
With the Celtics signing Amir Johnson and trading for Lee, it’s already clear that guys like Sullinger and Olynyk are going to lose some minutes somewhere, whether at the power forward or center spot. The Celtics may only trade one of the two – but they don’t need both of them. Bradley signed a four-year, $32 million contract last season, and when you look at some of the deals this offseason, that contract looks pretty valuable. Bradley’s one of the better defenders in the game. The Young era could be over before it really starts. After a season of injuries and trips to the D-League, Young has been dinged up again in Summer League. The addition of R.J. Hunter may push him out the door, as Hunter just does more out there on the court.
Possible: Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Evan Turner, David Lee
Not to say that the Celtics are necessarily looking to trade these players, but for the right deal they can be had. Let’s be honest, the team drafting point guard Terry Rozier with their first pick in the first round signaled that they’re not completely content at the point guard spot. Ainge didn’t trade for Thomas to flip him – and loves his game – but he has significant value. Smart would also be a big part of a major trade. Turner is in the last year of his deal, and if the C’s don’t think they’ll re-sign him, he could be had. Lee can absolutely help a contender, so if Boston is a seller at the deadline, teams may come calling.
Less likely: Jae Crowder, Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko, R.J. Hunter, Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller, Jordan Mickey, Perry Jones
The Celtics obviously see Crowder in their future after signing him to a five-year deal. They seem to really like Rozier and Hunter, so those players will get a shot. Ditto with fellow rookie Jordan Mickey. The rookies don’t cost much, either. Zeller is their only real center, so he’s got to stay.