The Boston Celtics reportedly suspended head coach Ime Udoka for one year effective immediately and tabbed Celtics assistant head coach Joe Mazzulla as the interim head coach for the 2022-2023 season. But will this have reverberations down the Celtics roster from a fantasy perspective?
The situation is certainly murky. Training camp is only a week away, and the Celtics will lose their head coach and center Robert Williams to start the season in a matter of days. But from a fantasy perspective, I think the value and outlook for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Al Horford remain status quo.
I don't typically go into fantasy basketball drafts scrutinizing head coaches unless they're stifling the development of certain players or don't have modernized game plans that are fruitful for fantasy purposes. So the good news is, I don't expect the Celtics game plan to change under Joe Mazzulla — he was the top assistant to Ime Udoka after Will Hardy's departure. Mazzulla's been in or around the Celtics organization since 2016.
At 34 years old, he is the youngest head coach in the NBA, along with Will Hardy. Mazzulla may not have an extensive coaching career, but he's established a strong bond with Celtics players. Here's Jayson Tatum explaining the positive impact Mazzulla's had on the young Celtics through his knowledge and passion for the game:
Here’s what Jayson Tatum said about coach Joe Mazzulla back in June pic.twitter.com/IbaSaqJWug
— Celtics Lab Podcast (@CelticsLab) September 23, 2022
Ime Udoka unlocked the grit and mental toughness that the Celtics severely lacked before his arrival. It helped catapult the Celtics into a defensive juggernaut and championship-contending team. And I don't think that mentality changes. My latest rankings still have Tatum as a top-12 selection, Jaylen Brown in top-50 and Al Horford should be drafted with confidence as a mid-round pick with news of Robert Williams missing significant time with a knee injury. Marcus Smart's value will probably fluctuate the most with Malcolm Brogdon in town and Derrick White still proving to be a worthwhile two-way player off the bench.