Analyst claims Boston Celtics’ biggest regret is trading unheralded offseason signee

Analyst claims Boston Celtics’ biggest regret is trading unheralded offseason signee

Portland Trail Blazers v Boston Celtics
Portland Trail Blazers v Boston Celtics / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

The Boston Celtics’ brass couldn’t have envisioned a better regular campaign. Even with the massive additions of Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis, adding All-Star-caliber players to an already established nucleus is almost unprecedented. It wasn’t unfair to have envisioned growing pains and expected the group to need time to gel together.

No matter how much success they’ve accumulated, there’s always room to nitpick. Getting swept in the regular-season series by the defending champion Denver Nuggets is less than ideal. Late-game offense tends to be stagnant and predictable. The bench could be more consistent and seems to disappear against premier opponents.

Perhaps that latter concern is why Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes thinks the team’s parting ways with an off-season acquisition is their biggest regret of the year.

“The Delano Banton deal seemed designed to open a roster spot for a buyout acquisition, which made it more defensible,” Hughes said. “But Banton’s statistical explosion in Portland is the real reason the Celtics might want that decision back. Essentially a 6’9″ point guard who can defend multiple positions, Banton averaged 16.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 29.2 minutes per game with the Blazers. But his impact after the trade suggests he might have had something to offer in the event Boston lost a key wing or guard to injury during the playoffs.”

The Boston Celtics have no room for Dalano Banton

Delano Banton always reminded me of an AAAA baseball player. It’s when guys dominate the minor leagues but can’t make their mark in the majors. It’s a middling purgatory where franchises struggle with the violent ebbs and flows.

Banton would dominate the G-League and be the best player on the court every time he suited up with the Maine Celtics. His athleticism jumped off the screen, and he could get to any spot he wanted on the floor and was a menace on the defensive end.

Yet when Joe Mazzulla called his number in the NBA, he rarely produced flashes of a quality role player.

He could always knife through an opposing defense, but his finishing was putrid once he got to the cup. Banton’s jump shot has never developed—in 2024, that is nearly an insurmountable flaw. The intangibles are decent but not exciting enough to compensate for the numerous shortcomings.

Where Boston focuses on capturing a title, the Portland Trail Blazers’ priority is to tank and develop their young core. Banton is essentially the same player who is getting a more significant opportunity with no pressure to win. His raw stats are decent, but his efficiency has been lackluster. During his tenure in Rose City, he shot 41% from the field and 31% from distance—yikes.

Banton had some eye-popping outings that made headlines, but those were few and far between. At best, he was mediocre and offered little reason to believe he deserved a consistently expanded role in the league.

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