The power forward slot is the main position subject to change depending on what team the Celtics are lining up against.
Brad Stevens has a history of not being afraid to switch up the starting five every once in a while, and we will certainly see some different combinations this season. Jayson Tatum is likely to be the starter on most nights, but certainly, Al Horford will rotate back to being a stretch four if Tatum’s lack of size becomes a liability on the defensive end.
Starter: Jayson Tatum / Projection: 13.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.5 APG, 27.8 PER
Gordon Hayward’s emergence into the starting lineup will likely hold back Tatum from scoring more than he did in his rookie year. Kyrie Irving’s injury towards the end of last season also allowed the 20-year-old to grow his scoring numbers, but that doesn’t mean Tatum will be any less vital.
With more time to build chemistry and put on muscle, don’t be surprised to see the Duke University product make jumps in both rebounds and assists.
Reports said that Tatum worked hard this offseason to stack on muscle, making the power forward slot a much more viable position for the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year finalist.
Backup: Marcus Morris / Projection: 11.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 19.8 PER
The narrative of important pieces last season losing minutes remains true for Marcus Morris, who will spend the majority of his appearances off the bench.
The 29-year-old winded up being an exceptional pickup for the Celtics, who traded away Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons last year in order to snag Morris.
This year, Morris coming off the bench will yield fewer minutes for the combo forward, which is what leads me to believe he will have his lowest scoring average since 2015. This was back in Morris’ final year with the Phoenix Suns, where he played alongside his twin brother Markieff.
Third off the bench: Guerschon Yabusele / Projection: 2.9 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.4 APG, 7.6 PER
Despite never making a huge contribution for the Celtics, Yabusele still managed to sneak into my list of the top 10 moments for last year’s squad.
His heavy frame and ability to overpower opponents is unique, to say the least, but Yabusele’s overall talent just isn’t good enough to play consistently at the professional level.
Regardless, he will likely continue to shine with the Maine Red Claws, where he has played undeniably well in the past.