Do the Celtics have any players who are very good?

nighthob

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Swedgin said:
Sully can be the starting power forward on a good team, provided that team has a very good/elite rim protector at center.   I think best case scenario is occasional All-Star.  Likewise, Olynk can (probably) be a starting center provided he is paired with a long 4 who can protect the rim.   Zeller is back up C/rotational big.
If either were capable of putting up Love's scoring numbers, you might be willing to live with the defensive void at one of the most important defensive spots on the floor. They're not.
 

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nighthob said:
If either were capable of putting up Love's scoring numbers, you might be willing to live with the defensive void at one of the most important defensive spots on the floor. They're not.
Well that's where we differ.   I think they (particularly Sully) project as better than "void."   Obviously neither has the athleticism or length to be a preternaturally skilled defender.   However, I think they can be coached up to somewhere between average/doesn't kill you.  Learning NBA level defense takes time and reps.   Not many young players pick up the nuances of positioning and rotations within the first year or two in the league.   Guys with elite length and athleticism can make up for being a step late; players lacking those gifts see their mistakes turn into made baskets, which makes the missteps and their limitations all the more glaring.   That is doubly so when the team, like the current iteration of the Celtics, lacks a rim protector who can provide another avenue to erase mistakes.
 

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Swedgin said:
Well that's where we differ.   I think they (particularly Sully) project as better than "void."   Obviously neither has the athleticism or length to be a preternaturally skilled defender.   However, I think they can be coached up to somewhere between average/doesn't kill you.  Learning NBA level defense takes time and reps.   Not many young players pick up the nuances of positioning and rotations within the first year or two in the league.   Guys with elite length and athleticism can make up for being a step late; players lacking those gifts see their mistakes turn into made baskets, which makes the missteps and their limitations all the more glaring.   That is doubly so when the team, like the current iteration of the Celtics, lacks a rim protector who can provide another avenue to erase mistakes.
The problem is that both Sullinger and Olynyk each understand the fundamental principles of team defense but are unable to physically execute against most NBA level frontcourt athletes.

Last night Olynyk wasn't even long enough to challenge Jason Smith's elbow jumpers despite having excellent position. These two don't need NBA defensive reps what they need is NBA level athleticism to execute which they don't nor will even have.
 

nighthob

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Swedgin said:
Well that's where we differ.   I think they (particularly Sully) project as better than "void."   Obviously neither has the athleticism or length to be a preternaturally skilled defender.   However, I think they can be coached up to somewhere between average/doesn't kill you.  Learning NBA level defense takes time and reps.   Not many young players pick up the nuances of positioning and rotations within the first year or two in the league.   Guys with elite length and athleticism can make up for being a step late; players lacking those gifts see their mistakes turn into made baskets, which makes the missteps and their limitations all the more glaring.   That is doubly so when the team, like the current iteration of the Celtics, lacks a rim protector who can provide another avenue to erase mistakes.
In modern defense you rely on your PFs and Cs to carry the D. You need someone capable of guarding the post and one capable of flashing out onto the perimeter to cut off dribble penetration. Neither of them has the length to guard the post 35 minutes a night and they both move like they're wearing cement shoes while running through molasses. They are both clearly understand where they're supposed to be, they're just not capable of getting there. Either is fine coming off the bench where you don't mind the awful defense so long as the player provides some useful skills (because primarily they'll be matched up against other bench players), but as starters they're destined to give up everything they score and more.
 

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HomeRunBaker said:
Last night Olynyk wasn't even long enough to challenge Jason Smith's elbow jumpers despite having excellent position. These two don't need NBA defensive reps what they need is NBA level athleticism to execute which they don't nor will even have.
There are good reasons to rag on Olynyk's defense, but Jason Smith is also seven feet tall. There are not many centers who can effectively defend a seven-foot jump shooter.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Blacken said:
There are good reasons to rag on Olynyk's defense, but Jason Smith is also seven feet tall. There are not many centers who can effectively defend a seven-foot jump shooter.
 
I am not only referring to Smith however if it were true that Jason Smith posed mismatches every night he wouldn't still be bouncing around off the bench on lottery teams putting up 6 points a game. I'll copy what I posted on CelticsNuts the other night......
 
 
 
I missed the first half but want to comment on what constitutes a "contested shot" and for the sake of comparison a "fake contested shot." The reason I'm mentioning this is that it's the third game I've noticed this season when a reserve big has made a bunch of "fake contested" mid-range shots that to the naked eye would appear to be "contested." It's a simple fake out to an average fan (not calling you an avg fan since I am only speaking of the 2nd half).

Melo made a bunch of jumpers in the 2nd half that Joe Fan would say, "Nice shot we got right up in his face nothing you can do about that." Then Jason Smith did the same. Here's the fake out that occurred.......Melo easily rose over Evan Turner several times and while yes he had his hands up it wasn't what the shooter would consider a "contested shot" as their was never a threat that Turner was ever going to alter or block the jumper. Melo was in his complete comfort zone without any actual challenge by Turner......it was a "fake contested shot." 

This occurred repeatedly with Olynyk on Smith. He was able to take an elbow or wing 15-footer against passive pressure of KO having his hand in the relative vacuity of Smith's chin putting the shooter in an ideal comfort zone. In both of these matchups the problem is our length and athleticism or lack of both. So while it may appear these shots are contested what is actually occurring is we are allowing opponents to have a field day shooting against little pressure. That's a killer in this league.
 

ALiveH

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Interesting point.  To truly contest a shot is it enough to just block vision of the basket or does one actually have to alter the shooter's mechanics?  Obviously the latter is better then the former, which is better than a wide open shot.  But, I just wanted to get clarification whether you thought our guys were doing none of the above.
 

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While not exactly on point (because I have not noticed KO's practice in this regard) it drives me crazy when players don't even bother to raise their arms to try to block the vision of the shooter.  It is so easy to do and yet several times a game there are "defenders" who don't bother even though, with just the slightest effort, they could  do so. 
 

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ifmanis5 said:
Anybody here interested in Greg Monroe for a first round pick? He's available. For me, I'd pass on that.
 
There are two types of teams who would look to acquire Monroe by the deadline. 
 
1) A team that commits to paying him a max deal so he doesn't hit the open market or
2) A contender who could either plug him in at the 5 or as their 3rd big as a pure rental.
 
Obviously we aren't in the second category. The question is should we be in the first? 
 
 
Interesting point.  To truly contest a shot is it enough to just block vision of the basket or does one actually have to alter the shooter's mechanics?  Obviously the latter is better then the former, which is better than a wide open shot.  But, I just wanted to get clarification whether you thought our guys were doing none of the above.
 
 
 
We are passively putting a hand up which is fine in Jr. High but does nothing against an NBA player who has drilled for years on jumpers with hands in his face without being a threat to rush, alter, or block a shot. For it to be an effective close-out on a shooter you must accomplish one of those three objectives......rush, alter, or block. We are defending as if it's a practice drill due to our size and/or length plus athleticism deficiencies in many matchups. 
 

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ifmanis5 said:
Anybody here interested in Greg Monroe for a first round pick? He's available. For me, I'd pass on that.
God No.
He's not significantly if any better than Olynyk and Sullinger, has all the same weaknesses, is older, and will make way more money on an extension.
 

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Plus Monroe would come without Bird rights and will be unrestricted at the end of the year.  Even if you like his game, why relinquish a first rounder to win a few more games this year (and maybe not even that)?
 

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This is Kelly's second year and he is significantly improved over last year. He is a decent shooter, his inside game has improved and he is a good passer. Of all the skills, defense is the most coachable so this kid is going to be a pretty decent player.
 

nighthob

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Athleticism and length aren't coachable at all. So he is going to be what he was destined to be, Steve Novak v3.11. Maybe one day he'll reach Steve Novak NT 4. Hopefully he doesn't end up being Novak ME.
 

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nighthob said:
Athleticism and length aren't coachable at all. So he is going to be what he was destined to be, Steve Novak v3.11. Maybe one day he'll reach Steve Novak NT 4. Hopefully he doesn't end up being Novak ME.
 
Exactly. Olynyk's upside is so little from where he is today since his skills do not have the length and athleticism to grow into. His atrocious defense isn't going to improve with experience since his positioning and awareness is already very good......it is that he physically cannot do what his mind wants him to do against physically superior athletes. 
 

zenter

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HomeRunBaker said:
Exactly. Olynyk's upside is so little from where he is today since his skills do not have the length and athleticism to grow into. His atrocious defense isn't going to improve with experience since his positioning and awareness is already very good......it is that he physically cannot do what his mind wants him to do against physically superior athletes. 
 
By my read (and, apparently, Heinsohn's last night), his reaction times are sometimes a little slow/hesitant. Whether that's an athleticism thing or an inexperience thing is beyond me.
 
If it's experience - e.g., reading first steps or body-language better, developing instinctual reactions to some things - there's room for him to grow. If it's athleticism, then yeah, we're at or near his peak.
 
My gut tells me that hesitation is frequently an experience thing - overthinking/over-evaluating. Because of this, I have hope that there's room for him to grow into a non-porous defender. But I have no knowledge to throw at this.
 

Brickowski

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HomeRunBaker said:
 
Exactly. Olynyk's upside is so little from where he is today since his skills do not have the length and athleticism to grow into. His atrocious defense isn't going to improve with experience since his positioning and awareness is already very good......it is that he physically cannot do what his mind wants him to do against physically superior athletes. 
Actually his defense and rebounding were pretty good for the last two games, admittedly against bad opposition.  
 

Koufax

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Well, Rondo's recent play may have moved him back up into the very good category, but Danny took care of that. 
 

Eddie Jurak

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So where does Brandan Wright fit in?  He's a better rim protector than anyone else on the team and can fit into the running game, etc.  Maybe Olynyk's weaknesses will be a little less exposed playing next to Wright.  But whose minutes does he get?  Bass? Zeller?  
 

southshoresoxfan

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Cellar-Door said:
Gerald Wallace was at one time a really good player.
Ya if hes a poor mans 2006-2009 gerald wallace thats fine.

Hes a 3 and D type guy when his shots falling. Whatever. Hes not the reason they made this move.
 

radsoxfan

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Eddie Jurak said:
 
Yeah, a poor mans Gerald Wallace from 7 or 8 years ago would be just fine.  
 
A poor man's version of 2014 Gerald Wallace is….. an impossible way to describe a current NBA player.  That would probably be an insult to at least a handful of SoSHers. 
 

amfox1

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So, what's next for Trader Danny?  Nelson and Wright presumably will get shopped at the trade deadline, when they become trade eligible.  Does Danny put out the FOR SALE sign and push to move Green, Bass and Thornton immediately?  Is there any way to offload Wallace and Turner?  If so, who are the logical trade partners?
 

Devizier

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So, what's next for Trader Danny? 
 
Get on the phone with Cleveland. They have a traded player exemption (Bogans), an impetus to win right away, no depth anywhere, and some spare draft picks that have value (Philadelphia's second rounder, a first round pick from Memphis that will probably roll over until 2017).
 

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Weight would make some sense for Cleveland. Their big situation is a problem past Varejao (I could be persuaded to start Wright, though it'd be tough). I'm not sure they have much in the way of assets to trade, though.
 

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Blacken said:
Weight would make some sense for Cleveland. Their big situation is a problem past Varejao (I could be persuaded to start Wright, though it'd be tough). I'm not sure they have much in the way of assets to trade, though.
 
I would take the Memphis (protected) first rounder and the Bogans exemption for Wright.
 
Alternatively, here's a strip mine trade that should net the Celtics an extra first (would have to be no earlier than 2018 from Cleveland).
 
That would make the team Philadelphia-level bad, though. Don't know if Brad Stevens would stick around for that shitshow.
 

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southshoresoxfan said:
Hes a 3 and D type guy when his shots falling. Whatever. Hes not the reason they made this move.
My bigger concerns are with his defense actually - he can get overaggressive and lose his man at times. My feeling is that Crowder will be a pretty good player for someone down the line, before he loses a step, but after he learns to slow down on his own.
 

Koufax

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He might be the biggest steal that Danny has ever pulled off, considering that they got him for nothing.  He's a bona fide center, not easy to find at all.
 

luckiestman

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HomeRunBaker said:
 
Come talk to me when he passed #8 on that list......Brandan Wright!  Ah, the joys of a part-time players PER numbers, I remember when Chuck Hayes was 2nd in the league for half a season one time. 
Zeller is in great shape but needs to get his fouling under control if he wants to get more minutes. In the preseason I really liked him on the floor with Olynyk.

Having never really played basketball I cannot key in on why Zeller sucks at defense. He isn't weak or slow and he has probably been d'ing up his brother his whole life so I'm confused by it.
 

radsoxfan

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luckiestman said:
Zeller is in great shape but needs to get his fouling under control if he wants to get more minutes. In the preseason I really liked him on the floor with Olynyk.

Having never really played basketball I cannot key in on why Zeller sucks at defense. He isn't weak or slow and he has probably been d'ing up his brother his whole life so I'm confused by it.
 
He's pretty weak for a center...
 
His defensive instincts are just average and he can get pushed around out there.  I don't think Zeller is terrible on D, but isn't not a strength.  
 
I've been very happy with him overall though.  He's a legit rotation big who can play the 5.  Certainly a very good trade considering Danny gave up nothing useful. 
 

ifmanis5

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Koufax said:
He might be the biggest steal that Danny has ever pulled off, considering that they got him for nothing.  He's a bona fide center, not easy to find at all.
He's a co-ordinated big man with good hands but he's not the rim protector they're looking for. Still, he does have good hands; throw him a pass from any angle at almost any height and he catches it no problem. Can't say the same for others of his size.
 

Blacken

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Zeller "might be the biggest steal that Danny ever pulled off" but Bradley will be out of the league in two years?
 
 
Um.
 

ifmanis5

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After what we saw and like Stevens said after the game, there is a lot more data on this guys than we had. I'd say I was comfortable when Sully, Smart and Crowder were asked to do big things. Everyone else, not so much.
 
IT- His ceiling is a 6th man. He was pushed around and man-handled into nothing but bad shots for 4 games. Keep him in the Microwave role and don't expect much more against playoff defenses and refs. He could have some Jason Terry-like moments when playing with other gifted offensive players but he's not a generator in the playoffs.
Turner- He's a physical presence at his position and offers some diverse stats but he shouldn't be counted on for heavy minutes. Not a starter for a playoff team. Never mentally recovered after LeBron rejected his dunk attempt. Off the bench he'd have some value since he can play multiple positions.
Bradley- Huge step back for him after playing well down the stretch. Couldn't defend, couldn't dribble, terrible shot selection. I thought he would take a step forward in the playoffs but it was two steps back. Hard to know what to make of it other than don't count on him.
Olynyk- His game is not suited for Eastern Conference playoff basketball. Can't rebound, can't defend, can't get to the basket. He's a big guy who can shoot and pass so he'll have some value but when his confidence waned, he had nothing. If he bulks up he'll be too slow and he's too frail to bang as is. He's a tall 'tweener.
Zeller- Good hands for a big but like Kelly, could not make space for himself or deny space to others when it mattered. Value as a bench big on a good team for about 15-20 minutes a game.
Jerebko- Decent hustle guy off the bench and not much more. I think we knew that. The playoff intensity suited him but he's so limited offensively.
Bass- Hopefully we've seen the last of him in Green.
 
I hope Crowder gets healthy since he's a versatile player and worth a look, I hope James Young has a great summer and that Danny has a big draft. Lots of holes to fill and talent needed. Bradley and Olynyk really disappointed.
 

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ifmanis5 said:
After what we saw and like Stevens said after the game, there is a lot more data on this guys than we had. I'd say I was comfortable when Sully, Smart and Crowder were asked to do big things. Everyone else, not so much.
 
IT- His ceiling is a 6th man. He was pushed around and man-handled into nothing but bad shots for 4 games. Keep him in the Microwave role and don't expect much more against playoff defenses and refs. He could have some Jason Terry-like moments when playing with other gifted offensive players but he's not a generator in the playoffs.
Turner- He's a physical presence at his position and offers some diverse stats but he shouldn't be counted on for heavy minutes. Not a starter for a playoff team. Never mentally recovered after LeBron rejected his dunk attempt. Off the bench he'd have some value since he can play multiple positions.
Bradley- Huge step back for him after playing well down the stretch. Couldn't defend, couldn't dribble, terrible shot selection. I thought he would take a step forward in the playoffs but it was two steps back. Hard to know what to make of it other than don't count on him.
Olynyk- His game is not suited for Eastern Conference playoff basketball. Can't rebound, can't defend, can't get to the basket. He's a big guy who can shoot and pass so he'll have some value but when his confidence waned, he had nothing. If he bulks up he'll be too slow and he's too frail to bang as is. He's a tall 'tweener.
Zeller- Good hands for a big but like Kelly, could not make space for himself or deny space to others when it mattered. Value as a bench big on a good team for about 15-20 minutes a game.
Jerebko- Decent hustle guy off the bench and not much more. I think we knew that. The playoff intensity suited him but he's so limited offensively.
Bass- Hopefully we've seen the last of him in Green.
 
I hope Crowder gets healthy since he's a versatile player and worth a look, I hope James Young has a great summer and that Danny has a big draft. Lots of holes to fill and talent needed. Bradley and Olynyk really disappointed.
I saw nobody I thought was a starter on a contender.
IT is a good 6th man, Bradley defended very well, Smart too, but both were serious negatives on offense.
Not sure why Sully is on your list, he looked like what he is, a flawed backup PF. He rebounded pretty well, but his defense was at least as bad as Olynyk's, and despite all the work he still doesn't space the floor with shooting or moving with the ball.
 
To me, I think what I thought before these four games. We have a whole lot of 6-9th men.
Olynyk can spread the floor, surprisingly quick driving on slow PF, doesn't defend or rebound well enough still.
Sullinger is a better rebounder, can't defend or stretch the floor.
Bradley can't be an efficient scorer or run an offense.
Smart, can't run an offense yet (still hope there I guess).
Zeller- efficient inside, can't defend, not a great rebounder for his size.
Crowder- nice defender and energy guy, love him off the bench.
Thomas- scorer off the bench, useless on D, gets swallowed up sometimes,
Turner- Turrible.
 

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Im not surpised at any of this. This is why Ainge wasnt thrilled at making the playoffs.

Isaiah is a skilled 3rd / 4th option /microwave guy as you said.

Nobody else save possibly Crowder/Smart and Young will be on this team if and when they become real contenders again
 

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I agree with the Smart, Crowder, Thomas (might throw Sully in there) group as likely the guys who have a role on the next great Celtics team.
 
Bradley and Olynyk are likely trade chips, though unfortunately they didn't help their value in this series.
 
Bass and Turner just need to go. 
 

ifmanis5

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Bradley defended well? Where was I for that?
 
I'm higher on Sully than most here. He's a flawed player and needs to be paired with someone more athletic but he competed and didn't look out of his depth when the shit got real. Even on a bad back/tailbone he put up 21-11 in 28 minutes today when all the other options had failed. He's pretty far ahead of the rest of what they got.
 
Kelly should lock himself in a room and watch Dirk tapes for a month to get an idea of where he should be and how he should play. He'll never get there but at least it'll be a starting point.
 

nighthob

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Devizier said:
Smart is the only starter that I could envision on a serious contender.
This. And he clearly ain't there yet. They're a 12 man bench in search of a starting lineup and they're stuck with four picks in the Powerball section of the draft. So next year's bench will be shorter and Boston's going to need monster steps forward from Smart and Young to stay in place on the treadmill. Realistically, though, with Indiana and Miami returning to health Boston's probably back in the lottery next year.
 

Eddie Jurak

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We won a championship starting Kendrick Perkins and early career rondo.

I don't think you can say that no one on our team is at that level.
 

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Eddie Jurak said:
We won a championship starting Kendrick Perkins and early career rondo.

I don't think you can say that no one on our team is at that level.
 
2008 was the beginning of Rondo's peak. If Smart has a comparable year next season, I'd be estatic. That's without saying that the Celtics drafted Rondo with Pierce already on the roster, and I'm very confident in saying that the Celtics sure as hell have no one on Pierce's level right now.
 

sime

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One point is, with the right pierces, our scrap heap dudes can look like max contract players. The other point is, we currently have nothing but those scrap heap dudes that teams with the right pieces might eye as solutions.

Bottom line, Celtics overachieved this year due to good management, which is a good thing not a bad thing.
 

nighthob

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sime said:
One point is, with the right pierces, our scrap heap dudes can look like max contract players. The other point is, we currently have nothing but those scrap heap dudes that teams with the right pieces might eye as solutions.

Bottom line, Celtics overachieved this year due to good management, which is a good thing not a bad thing.
In truth there are teams that do this all the time. Starting in February the good teams go on autopilot and the hopeless ones are more focused on lottery positioning than winning. In that atmosphere mediocre teams that play hard can rack up wins. Last year the Hornets closed out the year 24-12. Unfortunately for them they hadn't taken a leap, they'd just done what Boston did, tried really hard in a time period where others really weren't.

This year they did what Boston is likely to next year, take a step back because the teams directly behind them added better players in the draft. Boston will undoubtedly play as hard next year, but teams like Indiana, Miami, and Charlotte will be adding better players in the draft, and it's going to be tough for Boston's collection of roleplayers to hold place.