Three Boston Celtics make Bleacher Report’s preseason NBA top-50 list

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Three Boston Celtics make an appearance in a new top-50 assessment put together by the staff of Bleacher Report. As the preseason winds down and the NBA’s 2021-22 season draws closer, the flood of player rankings is at an all-time high with the league set to announce its own 75 greatest players list among a deluge of projections on who it will contain.

Add that to the usual annual eruption of articles such as this one more focused on the season ahead, and it can be dizzying to the casual observer and analyst alike. But these are still valuable exercises if only for the context they give us in the aggregate.

Let’s take a gander at how the folks over at B/R conceive of the top talent on the Celtics roster.

No. 49. Marcus Smart

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Ranked as high as 43rd by the panel and as low as 66th, 49th in the league feels about right for the Flower Mound native.

“Smart averaged a career-high 13.1 points last season, but he would like to further add to his playmaking skills,” writes A. Sherrod Blakely.

“He averaged a career-high 5.7 assists per game last year, and with new coach Ime Udoka wanting the ball in his hands even more this year, Smart’s expected role in the team’s success has clearly expanded.”

No. 26. Jaylen Brown

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Cal-Berkeley product was ranked as high as 24th, and only as low as 31st in the league, with 26th a very reasonable assessment in our eyes.

“The concerns about Brown’s surgically repaired left wrist aren’t as problematic as some thought they would be heading into the season. The bigger concern with Brown is related to him testing positive for COVID-19,” notes Blakeley.

“Brown’s ability to stretch the floor makes him an extremely tough cover because of his strength in getting to the rim off the dribble.”

No. 11 - Jayson Tatum

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Assessed between 10th and 16th in the league by the panel of B/R experts, this is yet again an appropriate preseason projection for the Celtics’ rising superstar.

“(Tatum’s) play, particularly last season, puts him squarely on the close-but-not-quite-there class right outside the top-10 superstars in the NBA,” suggests Blakeley.

“For him to continue to ascend as a player and show that he is indeed a top-10 talent in this league, he’ll need to manage even more free-throw attempts than the 5.3 he took last season.”

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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