Winning is in the DNA of the Boston Celtics organization. Their 17 NBA titles are tied for the most in league history and they have had just one losing season since 2007. Appearing in the Eastern Conference Finals in five of the last seven seasons has put Boston at the top of the league once more, yet the Celtics are still searching for their 18th title.

They came close to achieving this goal in 2022, but the Golden State Warriors proved to be too much for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Then 2022-23 season resulted in the Celtics finishing with 57 wins, their most since the 2008-09 season. Their goal of making it back to the Finals was snuffed out by the Miami Heat, though, as Boston lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Overall, this past year was a successful one for the Celtics despite coming up short of their ultimate championship goals. Tatum continued to evolve into one of the best offensive players in the league, as he made the All-NBA First Team for the second consecutive year, and Brown made his first-ever All-NBA appearance.

This past year, there was a lot of talk surrounding Boston's future with their two All-Stars, especially with the contract situations the organization would have to deal with moving forward. The Celtics made it clear that they were not going to be trading Brown and this offseason, they made a massive, long-term commitment to him with a record-breaking five-year, $304 million contract extension. As for Tatum, his $300 million extension is on the horizon and will be coming within the next year.

The Warriors have not been afraid to spend a lot of money in order to capture their recent titles through the years and the Celtics are no different. Owner Wyc Grousbeck is willing to take on tax penalties and he will not let anything come in the way of his team's championship pursuit.

This is what led to Brown's extension and this was the main motivating factor behind Boston's wild offseason.

Offseason additions and departures

Additions: F/C Kristaps Porzingis (trade – WAS), F Oshae Brissett (free agency), G Dalano Banton (free agency), G/F Svi Mykhailiuk (free agency), F Jordan Walsh (draft)

Departures: G Marcus Smart (trade – MEM), F Grant Williams (free agency – DAL), F Danilo Gallinari (trade – WAS), C Mike Muscala (trade – WAS)

Kristaps Porzingis was the Celtics' main target entering the offseason. There was some speculation that they could go after a more recent All-Star and potentially superstar guard Damian Lillard, but Porzingis was a player Boston expected to be able to “buy low” on compared to other impactful frontcourt talents around the league.

As a result, they came to an agreement with the Washington Wizards and the Los Angeles Clippers on a three-team deal that would've sent Porzingis to Boston and 2022-23 Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon to Los Angeles. I said “would've” because this trade never actually happened.

Due to some medical concerns surrounding Brogdon, this trade fell apart. Still looking to get a deal done before Porzingis had to make a decision on June 21 regarding his player option for the 2023-24 season, the Celtics quickly pivoted to an alternate trade, one that sent 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Ultimately, this is the trade that was finalized, allowing Porzingis to opt into his contract and join Boston for the upcoming year. Shortly after, the Celtics awarded their new big man with a two-year, $60 million extension, keeping him under contract with the team through the 2025-26 season. There's no doubt that the former All-Star can be the missing link in the Celtics' frontcourt, but this acquisition has drawn a lot of skepticism.

Smart had been the leader of this organization for years and he was their heart and soul. When the Celtics needed energy, Smart was the one to provide it, and his abilities on the defensive side of the court helped spark a lot of the runs Boston went on offensively.

Since he was drafted by the team in 2014, Smart had been one of the faces of the franchise. Now, he will embark on a new jersey with the Grizzlies, and the Celtics will be searching for answers on how to replace his energy and leadership in the backcourt. Head coach Joe Mazzulla has since named Derrick White the team's starting point guard and Brogdon will continue to help elevate the team by coming off the bench in his sixth man role.

As for Porzingis, this is definitely a risk taken by the Celtics. When he is healthy, the Latvian big man can be the perfect third scoring option in an offense led by Tatum and Brown. He can also make an impact as a rim protector defensively given his length.

However, finding the former first-round pick on the floor for close to a full season is a rare sight, as the 65 games Porzingis played this past year with Washington were his most since the 2016-17 season. Even now, Boston's new big man is dealing with injury concerns, as he was forced to sit out of the FIBA World Cup with Latvia due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

This trade may wind up paying off and working in Boston's favor, especially with Al Horford and Robert Williams III still existing in the team's frontcourt. But Porzingis' availability may very well hinder the Celtics' ability to live up to their full potential.

Oshae Brissett and Dalano Banton also joined the team this offseason, as both players will provide depth on the bench. With Grant Williams leaving and heading to the Dallas Mavericks, Brissett may wind up holding a larger role than originally expected. Rookie forward Jordan Walsh will be a work in progress early on in the new season and Svi Mykhailiuk recently signed a partially guaranteed deal with the team ahead of training camp.

Tatum and Brown remain, but the Celtics are going to have a different look and feel entering the 2023-24 season. Whether or not they will be better than last year's 57-win team is yet to be seen.

Who will emerge on Boston's roster?

Boston Celtics, Oshae Brissett, Payton Pritchard, Robert Williams III

The departures of Marcus Smart and Grant Williams leave some pretty big holes to fill on Boston's roster. Their presence was not always felt on the offside side of the court, but Smart and Williams were always the two defenders giving it their all every single game. In the playoffs, Williams even guarded Joel Embiid, the league's MVP this past season!

There are questions surrounding what the Celtics' defense is going to look like and this team's scoring depth outside of Tatum and Brown still seems shaky. In order for the Celtics to make another run at the NBA Finals, and potentially compete for their 18th championship, a handful of players are going to have to step up into larger roles.

Robert Williams III is the first and obvious choice for a player who will need to elevate his play in order for the Celtics to win this upcoming year. Due to lingering effects from offseason knee surgery, Williams was only able to play in 35 regular season games during the 2022-23 season. His absence left a hole in Boston's frontcourt and this is one of the reasons why the team went out and traded for Porzingis in the offseason.

During the 2021-22 season, Williams emerged as one of the best shot blockers in the entire league and he was virtually impossible to stop in pick-and-roll sets given his large frame and dunking abilities. His athletic presence and defensive instincts can make the Celtics the best team in the East.

Shifting from the frontcourt to the backcourt, Payton Pritchard is another player to keep an eye on this upcoming year in Boston. Drafted 26th overall in 2020 by the Celtics, Pritchard has played very sparingly off the bench and has been buried on the team's depth chart due to their abundance of guards.

Well, the Celtics moved Smart this offseason and Brogdon may not be healthy for the entire season due to concerns about his elbow injury. With White being the team's only other guard, Pritchard is going to see his role increase, and he's more than capable of making a difference offensively. The 25-year-old recorded 22 points and 30 points in the team's final two regular-season games this past year and he even scored 61 points at the Ball Don't Stop Pro-Am this summer.

He's not going to have these kinds of scoring performances in the league while playing alongside Boston's All-Stars, but Pritchard can absolutely be an X-factor for this group. As long as he is not a liability defensively, the former first-round pick will see his role increase over the course of the year.

As briefly mentioned earlier, Oshae Brissett is another player who is likely going to hold a larger role than many would expect. Grant Williams was a versatile defender who did a lot of little things to help his team win. Brissett is not the kind of defender Williams is, but he stands 6'7″ and has shown flashes of his two-way potential with the Indiana Pacers over the last few seasons. It will be very interesting to see what his role looks like during the preseason.

2023-24 season outlook

Anything other than a championship will be viewed as a failure in Boston, and that has been the case for the Celtics over the last handful of seasons.

This organization enters every single year with the mindset that they can make and win the NBA Finals, which is why the 2023-24 season will be no different. As is the case with any organization, injuries will ultimately dictate whether or not the Celtics can live up to their full potential.

Tatum, Brown and Porzingis have a chance to be one of the best scoring trios in the league, but their newly acquired big man always seems to be dealing with an ailment. Even though Horford has not missed many games through the years, Boston will need to be careful with him since he is now 37 years old and has over 1,000 games worth of mileage on his legs. There are also question marks still surrounding Williams and whether or not he can still be an impactful two-way player at the center position following his knee injuries.

If they can stay healthy, there is no reason why the Celtics cannot win the Eastern Conference and get back to the NBA Finals. Whether or not they have the depth to win it all is a completely different question.

What made the Denver Nuggets special this past season, besides Nikola Jokic's exceptional play, was the fact that they had stars leading them and great secondary pieces who could play their roles to perfection. Not every championship team in NBA history has been built like this, but the last handful of champions have had great depth that equals the impact of their stars.

Can Boston find this depth and receive production from their new faces during the 2023-24 season?

The Celtics will enter the new year as the favorites in the East, and rightfully so. However, it is hard to claim that they will eclipse their 57 wins from a season ago given all the uncertainties that cloud this roster.