With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JONAS JEREBKO

2015-16 season

78 games with Celtics: 15.1 minutes, 4.4 points, 41.3% FG, 0.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 0.3 steals

The Swedish power forward’s numbers are a tad misleading, especially when considering the solid postseason that he had, but Jerebko server as nothing more than depth on the bench and put up pedestrian numbers on the court during the regular season. However, when the 29-year-old was feeling it, he was absolutely a force. His minutes increased to 27.0 per game during the playoffs, and he averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his six appearances, four of which were starts.

Projected role in 2016-17

Don’t rule this out: Jerebko will be the Evan Turner replacement everyone is looking for. While he lacks positional versatility, his ability to knock down shots, play down low and grab rebounds could make him a valuable sixth-man option for Brad Stevens. While he certainly shouldn’t be starting on a nightly basis, there is enough that Jerebko brings to the table that could be oft-used off the bench. His postseason last year made a case for his playmaking ability, so don’t be surprised to see his minutes and numbers increase this season.

Biggest strength 

Explosiveness

There were moments in 2015-16 when Jerebko looked like he could run the Celtics. He can drive into the paint with strength and agility with his top-class Euro-step, but he also can step back and pull from deep. When all of those click, he can be unstoppable and can go off, whether it is for a stretch of games or a handful of minutes off the bench.

Biggest weakness

Tendency to go quiet

As explosive as he is, he has been known to have stretches where he’s a ghost and a non-factor, which is especially discouraging considering what he’s capable of when in his best form. It can make it challenging to count on him from a reliability standpoint when it’s unsure which version of him might show up that day.

Likelihood of making final 15

Certain

Jerebko proved during the postseason just how indispensable he is to the Celtics. He is a lock to not only make the roster but see increased minutes and usage the season.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JORDAN MICKEY

2015-16 season 

23 games with D-League’s Maine Red Claws: 33.4 minutes, 17.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.4 blocks

Mickey was a double-double machine in the D-League and finished the season as the league leader in blocked shots. In his 16 appearances with the Celtics — mostly at the end of lopsided games — he finished with a total of 21 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocks. Mickey was expected to have a big summer with the Celtics, but he was forced to sit out the Utah league due to a left shoulder injury. He rejoined the C’s in Las Vegas, where he averaged 9.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1 block in five games. 

Projected role in 2016-17

For a team that’s in dire need of a secondary rim protector, the Celtics have high hopes of molding Mickey into that role. But he still has plenty of growing to do on both ends of the floor before he’s given an increased role. Mickey will be a third-stringer this season but certainly is making the most of his opportunities.

Biggest strength 

Rim protection

The 22-year-old has the potential to become a great defender in the NBA due to his knack for making defensive stops. As an undersized big man — 6-foot-8 — Mickey’s instincts allows him to make big plays on the defensive end and his ceiling is very high.  

Biggest weakness

Post scoring

Mickey is limited offensively. He can finish around the rim — back-door plays and putbacks — but his post-up moves still need tweaking. He needs to improve his post moves with his back toward the basket. Mickey has the quick feet and great hands to become a low-post scorer. Although he’s shown that he can make shots beyond the 3-point arc — he shot 35 percent last season for Maine — a low-post game will give the Celtics the kind of forward they don’t have on their bench at the moment and increase his chances of becoming an everyday player in the near future.

Likelihood of making final 15

60/40 in favor of cracking the squad

Mickey should be on the 15-man roster to start the season but most likely will be making trips to and from Portland. Barring any trades or injuries, it’s going to be tough for him to grab minutes over bench guys like Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller — players who can provide much more scoring. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

DEMETRIUS JACKSON

2015-16 season

36 games with Notre Dame: 35.9 minutes, 15.8 points, 45.1% FG, 4.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals

A lot of things went well for the Fighting Irish in 2015-16, including a trip to the Elite Eight, and Demtrius Jackson was a major catalyst for all of it. As a junior, the point guard was a constant scoring threat with a tremendous willingness to drive to the net while also being a solid distributor. His speed made him a huge threat in transition, and it became apparent how strong he was despite his roughly 6-foot-1 frame, especially in the paint on the offensive end.

Projected role in 2016-17

In the event he makes the roster, Jackson could prove himself to be a viable backup off the bench for Isaiah Thomas, as they play a very similar game. He would be best served as a depth option deep on the bench, as he can provide both scoring and passing, should both those abilities translate to the NBA level.

Biggest strength 

Strength

Not blessed with NBA height, the 22-year-old has an incredibly solid frame that could help his game translate from college to the NBA quite well. His 6-foot-5 wingspan also is a plus. Especially into his junior year at Notre Dame, his unrelenting fearlessness to drive and body up with some of the nation’s biggest bodies was complemented by his strength.

Biggest weakness

The possibility his game will not translate to the NBA

The Celtics might have gotten a steal at pick 45 in this year’s draft with Jackson falling to them. A legitimate concern, however, is that his style of play won’t translate to the NBA. Far too frequently, players will put up numbers in college like Jackson did and end up totally overwhelmed professionally. Fairly early into camp/preseason, it should become somewhat clear how well, or poorly, his game is translating his rookie year.

Likelihood of making final 15

50/50

The biggest obstacle for Jackson is the Celtics have no shortage of guards, and that puts him quite a ways down on the totem pole. Should he turn in a solid camp, he could earn a spot on the bench. But it might make more sense to put him in the D-League and let him develop.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JAYLEN BROWN

2015-16 season

34 games with University of California: 27.6 minutes, 14.6 points, 43.1% FG, 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals

The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2015-16, Brown uses a combination of strength and athletic ability to score. He utilizes his strength to absorb contact near the hoop and has a quick first step that creates space for his jump shot. His speed also comes in handy on the opposite end of the floor, where he’s able keep up with defensive assignments and can guard three positions. 

Projected role in 2016-17

Brown has the athleticism and quickness to become a good NBA defender. As Jae Crowder’s understudy, his primary role will be on defense. He’s not going to score a lot of points and will use his rookie season to become a better offensive player.

Biggest strength

Quickness

Brown’s biggest strength is his ability to blow past his defender and get to the rim. He can create off the dribble, take contact and get to the free throw line. At 6-foot-6, he could be a mismatch in small-ball lineups and is very strong and athletic. 

Biggest weakness

Shooting

He an inconsistent shooter and will need to develop a decent jump shot if he wants to become an everyday player in the NBA. Brown shot 29 percent from deep last season and is going to be challenged to shoot the ball by opponents. If he can develop a mid-range jumper, his rookie campaign will be much brighter. 

Likelihood of making final 15

Certain

Brown won’t have a problem with making the team but will need to prove himself worthy of cracking Stevens’ rotation. At small forward, he’s going to share minutes with Jonas Jerebko behind Crowder, but if he’s unable to become an effective offensive player he may get bumped to the end of the bench. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

2015-16 season

69 games with Heat: 22.6 minutes, 8.9 points, 39% FG, 2.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists

Last season Green wasn’t able fill the the kind of role he had prior to joining the Heat and ultimately found himself buried behind Joe Johnson, Luol Deng and rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson on the Heat’s depth chart by the end of the regular season. For two seasons Green was a viable sixth man for the Suns, but his shooting percentages took a dip in Miami and the Heat eventually let him walk over the summer.

Projected role in 2016-17

The Celtics are hoping Green can rekindle the scoring touch he had with the Suns, and it would be a much-needed spark off the Celtics bench. If he’s able to be the 44.5 percent 3-point shooter he was a couple of years ago, he’ll have no problem cracking Brad Stevens’ rotation. If not, he’ll be a third-string forward who will only see the floor when the Celtics are in a dire situation.

Biggest strength

3-point shooting

The Celtics shot 33.5 percent from deep throughout the 2015-16 season, making them the third-worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA (behind the Grizzlies and Lakers). Green is a 36.1 percent career shooter from behind the arc, and if he’s going to become an everyday player for the Celtics this season, excellent shooting will get him there. It’s his niche — a huge reason why he’s been able to extend his nine-year NBA career. 

Biggest weakness 

Shot selection 

Green is never afraid to shoot the ball. In fact, the biggest knock on his offense is that he takes bad shots. However, he also makes some of those same bad shots, so it’s hard to blame him for the wild attempts. He’s also a streaky shooter at times — thus, if he’s on fire, he’ll typically keep it up. 

Likelihood of making final 15

Certain

He’ll have no problem making the team, but playing time will be his biggest concern. If he’s able to shoot at a high rate, he has a shot at cracking the back end of Stevens’ rotation.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

2015-16 season

36 games with the Celtics: 8.8 minutes, 2.7 points, 36.7% FG, 0.4 assists, 1.0 rebounds, 0.4 steals

The expectations were a bit higher than the production for R.J. Hunter in his rookie season after he was drafted with the 28th overall pick by the Celtics in the 2015 draft. He spent a stint in the D-League during the middle of the season, which proved to be beneficial, but never found a way to get meaningful minutes at the NBA level. In fairness, he never quite gave Brad Stevens a reason to give him quality minutes. When the 22-year-old was on, however, he showed exactly what president of basketball operations Danny Ainge sees in him. He showed the ability to shoot with some consistency and be a reliable option off the bench for some spot-up shooting, but it was not often that he did that.

Projected role in 2016-17

Should he make the roster, he would be an end-of-the-bench guy who would be relied on for perimeter shooting. His defense is not stellar, but he would be more than serviceable at the two in order to give Avery Bradley rest while still give the C’s the threat of shooting from deep on the floor.

Biggest strength 

Shooting

His shooting has been harped on enough already, and that’s because he has the ability to pull from deep with spot-on accuracy. If he finds the form he did in college, there should be no reason for him not to make the roster given the team’s perimeter shooting situation. In essence, the more he can hone in on that strength, the more of a case he makes for himself not only to make the roster but also be utilized more frequently as a non-garbage time option off the bench.

Biggest weakness

Inconsistency

Hunter’s inconsistency is what got him banished to the D-League last season, and if it continues this year it likely would produce a result of him missing the roster or being relegated to Maine once again. He shot a mere 30.2 percent from 3 and a not much better 36.7 percent from the field, and month-to-month his shooting percentages were all over the place. As intense of a chase as making the final 15 will be, reliability will be looked upon much more favorably than a boom-or-bust type player.

Likelihood of making final 15

60/40 in favor of cracking the squad

This training camp could not be anymore critical for Hunter. As mentioned before, if he hits shots the way he’s capable of, there would be no reason for him not to make this roster — especially with the lack of shooting on this team. Should he flounder in camp, though, he may have to find his way back to the Celtics via the D-League.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JAE CROWDER

2015-16 season 

73 games with Celtics: 31.6 minutes, 14.2 points, 44.2% FG, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.7 steals

After signing a five-year, $35 million deal in the summer of 2015, Crowder proved he was worth every penny. He emerged as one of the better small forwards in the Eastern Conference — a two-way wing-defender who could knock down jump shots on the other end of the floor. Crowder finished the regular season shooting 33 percent from deep, but from inside the arc — his sweet spot — Crowder shot 41.6 percent. He also was a leader in the locker room and a catalyst who helped pushed the Celtics to a 48-34 regular-season record. For his production, Crowder is a bargain. 

Projected role in 2016-17

As the Celtics’ most versatile defender, Crowder will continue to be a defensive anchor in the front court and should get more touches on the offensive end. With Al Horford’s inside presence, Crowder will get more open looks — which should help him improve on his 44.2 percent field goal percentage from last season. But more importantly, he’s proven he can guard some of the league’s best players — All-Stars like LeBron James, Paul George and Jimmy Butler. Crowder’s defensive assignments against some of the best teams in the Eastern Conference will give the Celtics a fighting chance to reach the upper echelon of the conference. He also will continue his leadership role in the locker room and show his understudy — rookie small forward Jaylen Brown — the ropes.

Biggest strength

Defense

What makes Crowder so valuable is his ability to defend the opposing team’s best scorer. He finished with 47 total votes for the NBA All-Defensive Team, including three first-team votes — nearly tying Paul George (48) for a spot on the second team. Crowder is being recognized as one of the better one-on-one defenders in the league — it’s his most important role for this team. 

Biggest weakness

Scoring off the dribble

The only thing preventing Crowder from becoming a 20-point scorer is his inability to score off the dribble. He’s definitely a scorer — one of the Celtics’ best — but Crowder scores in one of two ways: catch-and-shoot or drive to the rim. He’ll occasionally take one dribble before a shot but isn’t an isolation scorer. Not yet, at least. However, Crowder hasn’t reached his ceiling. At age 26, he’s only entering his fifth NBA season and still has room to add depth to his offense.

Likelihood of making final 15

Certain

As the team’s second-best defender, Crowder should return to the starting lineup. He’s a vital piece for the Celtics as they look to blossom into one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

MARCUS GEORGES-HUNT

2015-16 season

36 games with Georgia Tech: 32.4 minutes, 16.7 points, 45.4% FG, 3.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 0.9 steals

The 22-year-old was signed earlier this summer as an undrafted free agent after a successful four seasons at Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-5 guard shot 34.2 percent from beyond the arc but didn’t pull from deep frequently, averaging just more than three attempts per game. He also shot well from the field in general, hitting 45.4 percent. He led the Yellow Jackets three games into the NIT.

Projected role in 2016-17

Georges-Hunt appears to be nothing more than a development signing.. He will play in a handful of preseason games and ultimately get sent to the D-League to continue to develop.

Biggest strength 

Size

At a solid 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Georges-Hunt possess pretty good size for a guy who can run both at guard and forward. Should he play guard, his size would create mismatches in terms of rebounding, though those opportunities would be few and far between.

Biggest weakness

Lack of a specialization

A large reason Georges-Hunt went undrafted is that he lacks any specialty that would warrant a team investing a draft pick or roster spot on him. He can shoot from 3-point range, but that’s largely on uncontested looks, and he couldn’t be looked upon as a spot-up shooter. He is a good player all-around, but not so much that the Celtics would use a roster spot on him, as he would not bring anything new or above average to the table.

Likelihood of making final 15

Highly unlikely

A good camp could create some surprises for Georges-Hunt, but that would be one huge surprise. Expect him to be in the D-League once the season begins.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

Ben Bentil looks to earn a spot with the Celtics after starring at Providence College. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

Ben Bentil looks to earn a spot with the Celtics after starring at Providence College. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

2015-16 season

35 games with Providence College: 34.2 minutes, 21.1 points, 46 FG%, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks

As Providence’s leading scorer, Bentil led his team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and made a name for himself as a versatile scoring power forward. As a sophomore, Bentil tripled his point average from his freshman campaign while adding a 3-point shot to his arsenal. He shot 32 percent from deep while attempting 4.5 3-pointers a night. Alongside senior point guard Kris Dunn — the No. 5 pick in the 2016 NBA draft — the duo led the Friars to a 24-11 record, the best record Providence has seen in 12 years.

Projected role in 2016-17

Bentil has a shot at making the opening night roster but will still be spending time in the D-League. He’s a project the Celtics will work on, and they demonstrated their belief in his potential by inking him to a three-year deal this summer. Bentil won’t receive meaningful minutes behind guys like Al Horford, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller but will develop his defensive prowess and scoring abilities. 

Biggest strength 

Scoring 

Bentil is a scorer who can finish around the rim and score from the perimeter. He does a good job of utilizing his strength — he has a quick first step that allows him to get past his defender and has an outside touch. Although his offense is raw, Bentil has an ability to run the floor in fast-break situations — something he showcased over the summer in summer league, as he averaged 8.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game in the Utah league.

Biggest weakness

Low-post defense 

In a 6-foot-8 frame, he lacks athleticism, which may limit him in becoming a solid post defender in the NBA. However, with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Bentil has the potential to become a good pick-and-roll defender, although he’s going to need to work on footwork in order to utilize his mobility on defense.

Likelihood of making final 15

40/60 in favor of heading to the D-League

Bentil’s versatility on both ends of the floor gives him a decent shot at grabbing the Celtics’ final roster spot. He’s an ideal small-ball forward whose inside/outside scoring and help defense will give him a chance to make the team on opening night. However, James Young still has a chance of beating out Bentil for the last spot. If Bentil does make the team, he won’t see the floor much; instead he’ll be making trips to and from Portland.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley

2015-16 season

76 games: 33.4 minutes, 15.2 points, 44.7 FG%, 2.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals

The 25-year-old was one of the most indispensable members of the team last season — as apparent by the noticeable void when the seventh-year pro went down with a hamstring injury in the first game of the postseason. Prior to that, however, the now-longest-tenured Celtic’s defense was stout as ever, leading to a spot on the NBA’s All-Defense first team, while still being a reliable shooting source from the wing. 

Projected role in 2016-17

Don’t expect Bradley’s role to change much this season. Of the 76 regular-season games he appeared in last season, he started 72 and was one of the most reliable defenders and shooters, and he should do much of the same this season. The Celtics don’t have much shooting help from 3, and Bradley likely will continue to fill the 3-and-D role for coach Brad Stevens as a result. It’s also safe to expect him to be one of the premier defensive forces in the NBA, and as long as he is at full health — which he says he is — then expect him to be a night-in, night-out starter netting 35-plus minutes per game.

Biggest strength 

Shooting

It’s worth noting that his biggest strength on most other teams would be defense, but given the lack of shooting on the Celtics, Bradley’s ability to hit from deep reliably makes it one of his biggest assets, especially on a defense-centric team. Last season he set a career high in 3-point attempts with 407, surpassing his previous high of 352. On top of that, he was shooting from deep with 36.1 percent accuracy. The defense will continue to be there, but offensively if he continues to shoot with the same accuracy and frequency as last year, he’ll solidify his role as the team’s shooter — especially in late situations — following the departure of Evan Turner.

Biggest weakness

Health

In his six NBA seasons Bradley has yet to play a full 82 games and often has been riddled with injuries at one point or another. In 2014-15 he played the highest total of his career with 77 games, a total he came one shy of last season. His injury problems struck at the worst possible time last season, resulting in him missing nearly all of the Celtics’ lone postseason series against the Hawks. With all the promise surrounding the team this season, it is pivotal that Bradley keeps himself healthy.

Likelihood of making final 15

Certain

No scenario aside from injury would result in Bradley not being on the team and starting when the season tips off on Oct. 26.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen