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Grading the Celtics: How each player on the roster performed this season, and where they can improve

Brad Stevens and Marcus Smart both received favorable grades for their performance this season.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

What to make of the Celtics roster as it stands at this moment?

Beat writer Adam Himmelsbach offered up grades and evaluations for the entire roster – the starters, the key reserves, and the two-way contract players.

Here’s a look:

The starting five

Kemba Walker: B-plus

Walker would be the first to admit that he is capable of more this season, but his arrival after the Kyrie Irving saga was a breath of fresh air for the organization, and the impact that it had on his teammates was clear.

Jayson Tatum walks off the court after the final playoff loss to Miami.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Jayson Tatum: A

Tatum, who turned 22 in March, vaulted toward the upper tier of stardom and was a third-team All-NBA performer. The Celtics outscored opponents by 10.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the court, a net rating that was more than 3 points better than those of Jaylen Brown and Walker.


Jaylen Brown: A-minus

Brown was probably the most improved player on Boston’s roster. It has reached the point where he deserves a bigger say in Boston’s offense. He also has become an important voice for the franchise, leading its fight for social justice.

Gordon Hayward: Incomplete

It’s little fault of his own, but Hayward’s first three years in Boston have been a disappointment. The offense runs noticeably smoother when he is on the court, but due to injuries it’s impossible not to view his Celtics tenure as a missed opportunity.

Daniel Theis: B

He was a very good fit among Boston’s fleet of high-volume scorers, and coach Brad Stevens loves that Theis has such an accurate feel for Boston’s offensive and defensive schemes.

Read the full starter breakdown here.


Brad Stevens: B

Stevens has helped turn the Celtics into an Eastern Conference power, but some seem to be getting restless about Boston’s inability to take the next step. Having said that, this is now a veteran-laden squad. Over the next few seasons, Stevens and the Celtics rightly will be judged on NBA Finals appearances.


Read the full breakdown of Stevens' grade here.

Key bench players

Marcus Smart goes to the basket in a playoff contest against Miami.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Marcus Smart: A-minus

Smart is the heartbeat of this team, and his teammates will be the first to admit it. He is a capable starter. He’s also one of the only players who completely flip the tone of a game with one or two plays, and there is something to be said for the value in bringing such a firecracker off the bench.

Grant Williams: B

In the playoffs, believe it or not, Williams led the NBA in 3-point shooting. But his greatest value to this team comes at the other end of the court: He is a strong, sturdy and intelligent defensive player who is capable of guarding all five positions.

Robert Williams: B-minus

Williams is one of the more confusing players of the Stevens era. At times he looks primed to be a powerful center of the future.. And at others, he ends up puzzlingly out of position. But he is just 22, and it’s encouraging that some of his brightest moments came in the playoffs.

Semi Ojeleye: C-plus

There was a time that Ojeleye was viewed as the Celtics' defensive stopper of the future. While Ojeleye still gets those opportunities and still seems to have Stevens’s trust, his stock as a stopper has flattened a bit.

Enes Kanter grabs a rebound in the first half of a playoff game against Miami.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Enes Kanter: B-minus

No player on the roster vacillated between having great value and being all but unplayable as much as Kanter. He doesn’t have defensive versatility or the skill set of a player who generally thrives in a Stevens system. Nevertheless, the advanced stats adored him


Brad Wanamaker: B

Wanamaker doesn’t specialize in spectacular, but he became a key part of Boston’s attack after being used sparingly last year. Also, he led the NBA in free throw percentage this season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Read the full breakdown of the key bench players here.

Everyone else

(Including two-way players and those out of the rotation)

Romeo Langford: B-minus

When he was actually healthy, Stevens showed trust in him as a defensive stopper. But that wasn’t often.

Tremont Waters: B-minus

It might sound overly simplified, but Waters is a basketball player. He knows the game inside and out and might be the Celtics' craftiest passer and is a sturdy floor general. The problem is he’s just 5 feet 10 inches.

Javonte Green: C-plus

Green wowed Boston’s brass with his athleticism and defense and ultimately snagged the final roster spot. In the most optimistic scenario, he would emerge as a “3 and D” wing in the mold of former defensive pest Tony Allen.

Tacko Fall emerged as a fan favorite this year.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Tacko Fall: B-minus

The Celtics viewed Fall as a project, and they were encouraged by his improvement over the course of the year. There are simply very few players with his obvious physical advantages.

Carsen Edwards: C-minus

The bubble could be a blessing and a curse for a player such as Edwards. On one hand, he was able to complete frequent workouts, but on the other, he played just 36 minutes there. This is an important offseason for everyone on this list, but none more than Edwards.


Vincent Poirier: D

The Celtics have had some success plucking unheralded players from overseas, but Poirier appears to be a swig and a miss. The Celtics envisioned him as a rim-running big man who is active in pick-and-rolls. But in his limited action it became clear the Frenchman is not ready for the NBA.

Read the full breakdown for these players.

Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at Follow him @adamhimmelsbach.