The Boston Celtics season ended far sooner than they were hoping and another postseason disappointment may be setting up an offseason of big changes.
As the Miami Heat knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks, it appeared a path was opening for the Celtics to return to the NBA Finals and finish what they started last year. But it turns out, like New York and Milwaukee before them, they didn’t have any answers for Jimmy Butler or the Heat either.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both struggled at times during the postseason. And what looked like the best-supporting cast of this Celtics era had their weaknesses exposed and went cold at the worst possible times. Boston could run things back with the same core and hope for a better result, but they made also need to consider some serious roster changes this summer.
Celtics who won’t be back next season: 3. Mike Muscala
Muscala was picked up at the trade deadline for Justin Jackson and a pair of second-round picks. With his size and shooting touch, he looked like a nice deep-bench addition for Boston. He did play well over the rest of the regular season, hitting 38.5 percent of his 3s in 20 games.
However, there wasn’t really a meaningful role to be had in the playoffs for Muscala, as the interior defense of Robert Williams and Al Horford proved to be much more valuable. At 31 and as an unrestricted free agent, Muscala will likely be looking for a spot where he can maximize his playing time, even if it’s still just as a floor-spacing big toward the end of the rotation. Boston may try to bring him back, but they’ll have other more pressing priorities and Muscala will likely find more minutes elsewhere.