NBA

After another busy offseason, the Celtics’ roster is almost set. Let’s break it down.

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THE ENTREES

When the Celtics acquired point guard Malcolm Brogdon from the Pacers last month, people wondered if he could bring Marcus Smart back to a sixth-man role. But the team quickly snuffed them out, making it clear that Smart will remain the first floor general.

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So, in a league where change is one of the few constants, the Celtics will likely open the season with the same starting roster that finished last, with Smart joining Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Robert Williams.

This group is accomplished and has developed an uncommon chemistry. In 34 regular season games together last year, the unit outscored opponents by 24.6 points per 100 possessions, and the Celtics went 27-7.

Second-year coach Ime Udoka will likely focus on preserving the squad for the playoffs. Last year, Tatum averaged 35.9 minutes per game, ninth in the NBA among players who have played at least 40 games. When the playoffs ended, he looked exhausted.

Will Tatum have more time off during the 2022-23 regular season?Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The bouncy, explosive Williams averaged 29.6 career minutes last year and suffered multiple lower-body injuries in his first four seasons, and Horford turned 36 in June.

But the depth in the squad should make Udoka more comfortable giving starters breaks, and the Celtics are unlikely to repeat last season’s dismal start that created such urgency down the stretch.

ROTATION ACTORS

The Celtics will have plenty of quality starting options in their second unit, with Brogdon, guard Derrick White, forward Grant Williams and newly signed veteran forward Danilo Gallinari leading the way.

White struggled after being acquired from Spurs last February but played well overall and should benefit from the cohesion built in the final which will now be followed by a full training camp.

It will be the first time Brogdon has come off the bench since 2017-18, when he played for the Bucks. But his career has been rocked by injuries and he turns 30 in December, so he’s set for a slightly reduced role.

“This team already has something special,” Brogdon said. “They arrived in the final, they already have a recipe. And I want to add to this recipe, not disrupt it.

Malcolm Brogdon (left) and Danilo Gallinari (centre) appeared with Brad Stevens at their introductory press conference in July.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

It won’t be an adjustment for sharpshooter Gallinari, 34, who has been off the Hawks’ bench for the past two seasons.

“At this point in my career, it’s a decision that I decided to accept and make,” he said, “and I think I did a good job during those two years at Atlanta.”

But all three players will likely have opportunities to close out the games. Over the past year, Udoka has often tweaked his replacement patterns to stick with a booming player or roster. Stevens said he plans to deploy a skilled, three-point, five-man squad that includes Brogdon and Gallinari.

“It gives us even more options in certain scenarios,” Stevens said, “certain surrogate models.”

Last season, Grant Williams embraced a substitute role focused on defense and long-range shooting, and he will have the opportunity to do the same.

END OF BENCH

Payton Pritchard was one of the biggest beneficiaries of February’s trades that created roster opens, and he benefited from the bigger role. He went from 12.3 minutes played per game before the All-Star break to 18.1 after, and his 3-point shooting went from 36.1 percent to 47.3.

Pritchard will likely be in a battle again for a few minutes, but there will inevitably be injuries, and he has shown he will be a reliable option.

Pritchard took advantage of his chances last year.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

6-foot-8 Sam Hauser, a two-way contract player last season, signed an NBA contract this summer, and the Celtics believe he can step in as a sniper.

The Celtics never quite filled the void created by moving backup center Daniel Theis to Indiana, but Stevens insisted veteran Luke Kornet would be a reliable option.

“We’ve been really high on Luke,” Stevens said. “We thought he had a great season in the G League and we think he can step up and be a passer and a ball handler and a mover and a screen and a roller when needed.”

That leaves three spots on the roster, and the Celtics will need to fill at least two of them. League sources said the pre-season will essentially serve as a final audition for a group of veterans looking for a new opportunity.

LIST BATTLES

Rookie full-back JD Davison and veteran striker Mfiondu Kabengele will be in training camp as part of their two-way contracts.

Veteran forwards Noah Vonleh and Bruno Caboclo have both signed training camp deals. They could be joined by guard Brodric Thomas, who had a two-way deal with the Celtics last season, veteran forward Justin Jackson, who signed a 10-day contract last year and played for the team from the summer league last month, and veteran forward Denzel Valentine, who spent part of last season with the Maine Celtics.

A league source said 2021 second-round pick Juhann Begarin, who had a strong performance in the summer league, should return to France for another season, and guard Matt Ryan, who was on a two-way deal last year, will not be back with the team.


Adam Himmelsbach can be contacted at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.

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