Boston Celtics projected lineup and rotations heading into 2023-24 season

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Al Horford (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Al Horford (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics starting power forward: Al Horford

Al Horford is 37 years old. If any member of this projected starting five is going to prove incorrect, it’s probably Horford. Even if he begins the year with the starting unit, it would not be surprising to see either Malcolm Brogdon or Robert Williams take his spot before all is said and done. Father Time comes for us all, and Horford certainly showed his age at various points last season.

That said, the wily vet started in all 63 of his appearances last season. The Celtics have been proprietors of the two-big lineup and there’s a good chance that continues with Porzinigs joining the mix in 2023-24. Horford can still credibly guard 4s and he’s certainly skilled enough to survive at the position on offense, especially with another long-range bomber in the frontcourt.

Horford has always been a master of the fundamentals. He has five All-Star appearances on his résumé despite never averaging more than 18.6 points per game in a single season. He can spread the floor and occasionally uncork a vintage post move or two, but he’s not a scorer at heart. He impacts winning as a screener, passer, and mover. He understands the game on an intuitive level and he’s great at empowering teammates for success.

His ability to hold up in space defensively will determine if he can truly survive next to Porzingis. There are fair doubts on that front, so consider this the least “penciled in” of the starting lineup projections. Horford will probably have to transition to a bench role eventually.

Primary backup power forward: Jayson Tatum

Expect Tatum to get a lot of run in this spot when the Celtics go with two-guard lineups of Brogdon and White or Pritchard and White. In fact, if Horford does get shuffled out of the starting lineup, one has to imagine it will be in favor of a smaller group involving Brogdon. Williams and Horford both coming off the bench gets a bit crowded, but the Celtics have clearly moved their priorities away from guard depth with the Porzinigs trade.

Other players who could receive minutes at power forward: Robert Williams III, Oshae Brissett