As the Trade Deadline passed and teams made their moves to improve their respective rosters, notorious “Trader Danny” surprisingly stayed quiet and patient. So, with no current additions to the Celtics, what’s the next move for Boston?
1. Buyout Options for the Celtics
The current problem with the construction of the Celtics is that they are the same team they were at the beginning of the year. Although this team can score and defend at an elite level, one of the things it lacks is rebounding and post defense, which could be addressed via some buyout options from around the league.
In this article by Nicolas Goss from NESN, Goss discusses the numerous options the Celtics have when it comes to reinforcements from the buyout market. “The Celtics are in dire need of rebounding help, as they rank 29th in defensive rebounding percentage. They’ve been rebounding better of late, but Bogut would be a clear upgrade over Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynyk when it comes to rebounding and low-post defense.”
From this analysis, I believe Bogut would be a clear improvement from the current rebounding group the Celtics currently employ. My current issue regarding this would be that there have been rumors Bogut is looking to sign with the Cavaliers, making it even tougher for the Celtics to convince the big man to join this Boston squad.
2. Checking in on overseas players
Another option for the Celtics when it comes to reinforcements could be to look at what they already have, but can’t see. The Celtics currently have some talented players stashed overseas and also playing in their D-League Affiliate Maine Red Claws. One option that could potentially help the Celtics in the short term while also building up for the future could be to bring Ante Zizic or Guerschon Yabusele over from overseas this year to fix their frontcourt problems.
In this post from CelticsBlog, writer Keith P. Smith talks about how the prospects are doing overseas, noting Scout’s comments on the stashed big man. “Zizic is developing more rapidly than anyone expected. We thought he would be a 2 year project at least, but he’s probably ready to play now. He’s a plus rebounder who understands angles and uses his body well. His defense still needs work, especially in pick and roll action.”
From this post, and from seeing some of the stats that Zizic is averaging overseas, it seems clear to me the Celtics should call up their big man into their current roster. Would he have some rookie moments during his stint with the Celtics? Of course. But if the Celtics think this could be their fix for an athletic 4 that can help them in the immediate rebounding issue, it seems like the most logical thing to groom him from the bench this year while addressing some of the team’s rebounding issues.
3. Learn from this last run of the season, and find out what’s missing during the playoffs
The Celtics will likely not be this year’s NBA Champions. While it’s unlikely the Celtics will even make it to the Finals, it’s important to note how far this team goes, and what it’s missing in order to address it during the offseason. Isaiah Thomas will likely continue his MVP caliber campaign, so it’s also important to enjoy the offensive display this unlikely hero is putting out there every night. Would the Celtics be a scoring wing and rebounding specialist from besting the likes of the Warriors or Cavaliers? This is something we are bound to find out as the playoffs draw near.