8. Celtics: Jayson Tatum and Jayden Brown
Despite not winning the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics should be feeling good about themselves heading into next season. Especially considering they had a losing record at around the mid-point of last season and still made the NBA finals.
They have two elite defenders in Robert Williams and the winner of Defensive Player of the Year in Marcus Smart. They’ve also made a trade for Malcolm Brogdon who was a borderline All-Star when healthy last season. He also addresses their need for a true point guard. However, their best two players are two-way stars Jayden Brown and Jayson Tatum.
Brown was arguably the best player in the NBA finals for the Celtics. He’s a physical wing who’s great at creating for himself and is a very good defender. He’s not the best shooter and he struggles as a playmaker, but he’s still a top-25 player in the league.
On paper, Tatum is the best player in Boston. He’s bigger, a better shooter, and a better playmaker than Brown. Outside of the finals, Tatum was the best player for the Celtics during the playoffs. If he can become a clutch player consistently, then he’s a top-10 player in the NBA.