Grading the Boston Celtics’ 2020-21 regular season, player-by-player

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While the book isn’t closed on a postseason run for the Boston Celtics, the final record and all that went into is a settled matter for the team’s 2020-21 NBA season, which gives us a chance to evaluate the performance in brief for each of the roster’s 17 players currently on the team’s payroll.

We’ll do a deeper post-mortem for each individual player once the postseason is wrapped however it may end, but for now, we took a look at how every player on the team has met — or not — reasonable expectations for their role on the team during the regular season. There’s time yet to bolster (or drop) their stock individually for the campaign in its entirety, but these are our assessments for the 72 games already played, with an eye to their potential future with the team after the end of the postseason rolls around.

So, without further ado let’s get started.

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Jaylen Brown: A-

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Had injury not plagued Brown's season so extensively, causing the Georgia native to miss 18 games of a reduced, 72-game schedule, we'd have graded him higher. While the peaks of teammate Tatum may rightly garner more attention, Brown has quietly put together a borderline All-NBA season beyond all but his most ardent believers' expectations.

Carsen Edwards: D

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Edwards has shown some flash this season, but the sort of flash he should have been showing as a rookie. Barring a postseason transformation, it seems likely his future is overseas.

Tacko Fall: D+

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Fall has been fine as an emergency depth big off of the bench, but hasn't shown much more in the little run he's had. We all love him as a Celtic, but there's a very good chance he's played his final regular-season minutes with the team.

Evan Fournier: B+

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Fournier has shown he's a great fit and get for the Celtics, looking like a strong candidate to remain a key part of the team moving forward. COVID recovery seemingly mostly complete, we're looking forward to seeing what he does in a bigger role in the postseason.

Luke Kornet: C-

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Kornet is fine as a third-string center but has struggled when injuries have forced a bigger role on him. He's been okay for Boston, but if he sticks around it needs to be in a smaller role.

Romeo Langford: C-

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Langford gets a pass for much of the season given how late he joined it due to injury. But he's also grown little even in the time he has played, and needs to start impacting winning more visibly as a former lottery pick -- time is running out, if it hasn't already.

Aaron Nesmith: C+

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Nesmith would have gotten a higher grade for the season had his flashes at the end of April into May continued into more consistent bench production. But he has become a useful NBA player hinting at a lot more potential and earned a "C+" on the season after a slow start.

Semi Ojeleye: D-

Feb 19, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela (15) works for the ball against Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) in the fourth quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

We don't give "F" grades out unless a player proves utterly incapable of meeting the expectations for their role with the team, and Semi didn't do that. But he barely did the minimum to be useful at his position in a season that may decide his future in the league.

Jabari Parker: D+

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

We are a little skeptical that Parker will be on the roster for opening day of the 2021-22 season, but he has shown enough it's not out of the question the team continues trying to rehabilitate his value. To date, he's had a few flashes but has mostly underwhelmed.

Payton Pritchard: B-

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Though Pritchard definitely hit the rookie wall, he also exceeded expectations for a first-year floor general. One of Boston's most reliable sources of offense off of the bench, the Celtics got a late steal drafting him.

Marcus Smart: C-

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Between injury and regression on both ends, this was far from an ideal season for the Flower Mound native. We still believe in Smart as the emotional heart of this team, but with looming free agency after next season, we could be in for a heart transplant between now and the 2022 trade deadline.

Jayson Tatum: A-

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Tatum took another big step forward this season and teeters on the cusp of superstardom. But until he can take that leap by becoming both consistent and able to assert his will on a game when he needs to, we can't give him a better season grade.

Tristan Thompson: C

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While Thompson started the campaign behind the eight ball, he also never quite demonstrated he's worth the fairly large deal he signed this past offseason. He still has value for Boston, but his limited game in the modern NBA suggests this playoff run could be his last with the team.

Kemba Walker: B+

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While it was far from ideal, Walker showed he can still produce at a high level when he takes care of his body. He may not get a chance to show whether it's worth the squeeze before circumstances beyond his control force a re-shuffling of the roster though.

Tremont Waters: C+

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Waters may never have a bigger role in the NBA than a third-string point guard, but he showed he can do the job when asked. But is that enough to earn a spot on next year's regular roster? Potentially -- though we have our doubts.

Grant Williams: C

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A lot was asked of the less-bouncy Williams in his second season, with the Tennessee product trying -- and struggling -- to play more of a stretch forward than small-ball center where he found success as a rookie. Still, he did worse in both roles when roster construction opened time for him as a 5.

Robert Williams III: B+

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

With availability remaining the most important ability in a season where the front office bet on Williams to be able to shoulder a bigger load of minutes, we have to ding Timelord a little. But he couldn't earn less than a B+ in a season he took such big steps forward. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=50617,50614,50582,50580] [listicle id=50304]

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