The Boston Celtics were two wins away from winning the franchise’s 18th NBA championship. Unfortunately, they were stifled by a Golden State Warriors team destined to reclaim their throne atop the NBA. The 2022 NBA Finals revealed that this Celtics squad isn’t quite there yet to etch itself into basketball immortality. Turnovers were the most detrimental reason why Boston lost three straight games to end what actually was a successful campaign, considering they were 25-25 at one point during the season. And they will need to address those issues if they want another go-around at an NBA Finals run in 2023.
Boston wasn’t really able to address that in the 2022 NBA Draft. The Celtics only had a second-round pick which they used to select JD Davison out of Alabama. A 6-foot-3 point guard, Davison could turn out to be a bargain selection for the Celtics. He used to be a five-star recruit but did not have a great season with Alabama. The 19-year-old is still a raw project but possesses great athleticism that could help him excel at the next level.
With that, he doesn’t necessarily solve Boston’s issues — but neither does any other guy they could have taken — when it comes to bringing in a player who can set the table for the team offensively. That should continue to be the biggest need the Celtics still must address this offseason after the 2022 NBA Draft.
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Biggest Celtics Need After 2022 NBA Draft
Boston’s inability to take care of the ball ultimately cost the Celtics the NBA Finals. They averaged 16.2 turnovers through the six-game series, committed 22 turnovers in the season-ending loss in Game 6, and 18 in the pivotal Game 5.
The Celtics entrusted their two stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to handle the playmaking and facilitating duties. And though they’ve improved in that department over the last couple of seasons, they just weren’t quite there yet to deliver on the brightest stage in the game.
Tatum set the NBA record for most turnovers in a Finals series, becoming the first player ever to commit 100 giveaways in a single postseason. He turned the ball over nine times in the two most important games of the playoffs. While the volume speaks for Boston’s deep playoff run, he still averaged over four turnovers per contest. Brown, meanwhile, averaged 3.1 turnovers throughout the playoffs. But he committed 10 of his 74 giveaways in the last two games of the Finals.
Their two point guards Marcus Smart and Derrick White also aren’t the kind to run an offense full-time. While they are capable of playmaking, they may be best suited offensively when catching and shooting from beyond the arc. Moreover, they are more known for their defense and energy on the other side of the floor.
Sure, the Celtics could bank on the fact Tatum and Brown’s handle will get better over time. But Boston will need to address this issue this upcoming summer. The Celtics may need to make changes and even test the trade market to improve their roster. Some potential trade targets include Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon or Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz.
Perhaps they can also find a seasoned veteran in free agency. Rajon Rondo may not be done and could consider a return to Boston. Kemba Walker may soon be available following his trade to the Pistons and could be attainable on a much cheaper deal if they were interested in a reunion.