The Boston Celtics cannot let this year’s buyout market pass them by. If the team wants to return to the finals and hopefully grab Banner 18 this year, they must pick up some veteran talent in the buyout market.
After what was kind of a lackluster trade deadline – from a Celtics perspective and league-wide – the buyout market has been hot. Just Saturday, Kevin Love is reportedly ready to sign a deal with the Miami Heat.
Other names, including Reggie Jackson, Danny Green, and Terrence Ross, have all already been signed to contending teams. In Green and Love’s cases, they signed to playoff contenders within the Eastern Conference, potentially narrowing the wide gap between Boston and other contenders in the east.
From the start of the buyout season, it seemed like the Celtics would play a significant role. Almost all of the aforementioned names were rumored to be interested in heading to Boston. After all, the Celtics are an incredibly attractive team for a ring-chasing NBA veteran.
Just ask Blake Griffin, who’s been in ring-chasing mode the last few years, first in Brooklyn and now in Boston. Griffin has become an integral part of the team’s culture. While not really adding much to the box score on a nightly basis – although he is useful on nights when there are frontcourt injuries – Griffin has become a key ‘bench celebration’ guy.
A team with such high playoff potential and a generally well-regarded team culture should be a really attractive destination for any buyout guy.
Celtics still have holes to fill going into the playoffs
The Celtics could also use some help solidifying their bench with veteran talent ahead of another long playoff run.
Sam Hauser, Payton Pritchard, and Grant Williams all have the potential to show up, but you still need insurance for when they’re gassed, or shots aren’t falling.
Derrick White has been able to be a superhero for the Celtics in recent weeks while Brown and Tatum were both out, but you can’t always count on someone as young as White, who has no playoff experience outside of last year, to show up in the most important moments.
Also, from a frontcourt perspective, the Celtics could still use depth, especially in a series against Embiid or Giannis, where those big men will get calls. You need an expendable old guy who can give you four fouls or even foul out.
Names like Serge Ibaka, Will Barton, or John Wall could fit the bill on many team needs as an end of the bench veteran.
If you want to get crazy, maybe try to get the ball rolling on a Derrick Rose signing if he gets bought out by the Knicks. Rose was a playoff contributor for that team in the 2021 playoffs.
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If you want to get even crazier, kick the tires on a Russell Westbrook deal. To some Celtics fans, this sounds like a horrible idea, but as long as he’s not anywhere near the main arteries of the team, I think he’s a valuable asset. Think of him as a mini version of Bill Walton to the 1986 Celtics, a controversial former MVP and potential Hall-of-Famer who you can get to do the dirty work for your team in a playoff run.
I’m sure Brad Stevens has something cooking on this front. Wyc Grousbeck, Celtics owner, publicly said that the Celtics intend to use their final roster spot. Let’s just hope it can happen sooner rather than later while there’s still talent out there.