7 Celtics players reach the top 100 ESPN NBA rankings for the 2022-23 season

The Celtics earned a lot of respect across the league after an unexpected trip to the NBA Finals last June. These performances along with some off-season additions have built their case as the deepest NBA team entering the 2022-23 regular season even after Danilo Gallinari’s loss in the shattered AFC Champions League.

The team got more ammunition for that label on Tuesday after ESPN unveiled its Top 100 NBA Player Rankings for its 12th season. The vote was voted on by a panel of 200 reporters, editors, producers and analysts who were asked to rate the players on their projected contributions for the upcoming season.

The full list will be released in full later this week, but the 100-26 player ratings were revealed on Tuesday and Boston tops the list with representatives in the top 100 with seven different players. Below is a complete list of players who have earned this distinction, along with their ranks

No. 99: Grant Williams

Analytics: This is the first appearance in the world rankings for Williams who had a career year on both ends of the earth last season. He has demonstrated his value post-season through his contributions to the defense against Giannis Antetokounmue and will look to build on that in his contract year.

#87: Malcolm Brogdon

Analytics: He dropped 22 positions from last year following an injury-strewn year with the Pacers. His offensive skill set and new role as the sixth man off the bench for Boston make him a prime candidate to jump back into the top 50 list with a solid season.

No. 70 Alhorford

Analytics: Half of the season with Oklahoma City set the stage for Boston’s rebound season, allowing him to make a giant leap back into the top 100. I’d argue that’s pretty low due to his defensive value and stretching ability but a drop could be expected as he enters into a season aged 36 general.

No. 58 Robert Williams

Analytics: When he’s healthy, his impact far exceeds 58 overall but the big question for him will always be his ability to stay on the field. League sources told MassLive he had no concerns about his knee issues last year, so maintaining a sustainable minute load will be key for next year.

No. 34 Marcus Smart

AnalyticsA big vote of confidence by voters in Smart who topped rising young stars like Cady Cunningham and Evan Mobley in the rankings after being named Defensive Player of the Year. Boston’s attack thrived with Smart running the point full-time last season and he will try to build on that while helping to maintain Boston’s top-level defensive attack.

Later Announced in the Top 25: Jaylen Brown

TBA in the Top 25: Jason Tatum

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