Five Boston Celtics ranked in ESPN’s NBArank 2022 Nos. 100-26

·3 min read

As we wait for the start of the Boston Celtics’ training camp for the 2022-23 NBA season, the start of another season kicks off. In the content desert that is mid-September, ranking season begins in earnest.

Major and minor NBA media outlets try their hand at ranking the teams and players of the league in an attempt to project what the lay of the league will look like for the Association in the coming year. And among the most highly regarded of those player rankings is ESPN’s, who have released their rankings for the 100th-best to 26th-best players for the 2022-23 season.

Let’s take a look at the Celtics players who made that ranking.

No. 99: Grant Williams

(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

“Williams has steadily increased his 3-point shooting volume and percentage each season, topping out at 3.4 attempts per game and shooting 41.1% from behind the arc last season,” writes Tim Bontemps.

“Boston needs him to repeat those numbers, especially with newcomer Danilo Gallinari likely out for the season with a torn ACL.”

No. 87: Malcolm Brogdon

(Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

“After spending the past three seasons in Indiana, Brogdon came to the Celtics in exchange for a first-round pick and flotsam salary this offseason,” notes Bontemps.

“Now, after being a starter with the Pacers, can he adapt to a bench role? Just as importantly, can he stay healthy after playing a combined 92 games the past two seasons? If both answers are yes, Boston could have this season’s Sixth Man of the Year.”

No. 70: Al Horford

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

“Can Horford keep turning back the clock?” asks Bontemps.

“The Celtics’ veteran big man had a brilliant season upon returning to Boston — Horford has his best rebounding year since 2013-14 with the Hawks — but that same level of performance could be tough to duplicate as he enters his age-36 season.”

“Expect the Celtics to be judicious with Horford’s minutes in an attempt to preserve him for another deep playoff run.”

No. 58: Robert Williams III

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

“Although the Celtics reached the 2022 NBA Finals, Boston never quite looked the same after Williams injured his knee late in the regular season,” suggests Bontemps.

“If he can be healthy for the entire season, Williams will be a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year and could skyrocket up these rankings.”

No. 34: Marcus Smart

Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

“Smart didn’t become the first guard to win Defensive Player of the Year since Gary Payton in 1996 by mistake,” claims Bontemps.

“Smart has long been considered one of the best defensive guards in the NBA, and he was a huge part of Boston’s league-leading defense, including when it was a staggering 4.6 points per 100 possessions better than the rest of the NBA over the final two-and-a-half months of the regular season.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire