The Boston Celtics are poised to be NBA Championship contenders this season, but the roster isn't without its flaws. While Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday's arrivals have filled the fanbase with hope, the frontcourt depth is far from perfect following Grant Williams and Robert Williams' offseason departures.
While the Celtics' 15th roster spot remains open, help can be hard to find this close to the start of a new NBA season. Fortunately, the Philadelphia 76ers' latest roster cut could provide the help that Boston has been searching for.
Celtics Roster Rumors
NBA insider Shams Charania reports that the 76ers are cutting center Montrezl Harrell. The 29-year-old big man is expected to be sidelined until the All-Star Game in February after tearing his ACL and meniscus back over the summer.
Assuming that his recovery is going well, the Celtics must target the veteran big man. An aging Al Horford and Luke Kornet — who has started two games since 2020-21 — are penciled in to be Boston's top two centers, highlighting the need for someone like Harrell.
Harrell, the 2019-20 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, has averaged 12.1 points and 5.0 rebounds with 61.9% shooting across 515 career games. While his role was limited with the 76ers last year, averaging 11.9 minutes across 57 outings, his 23.3 points and 11.6 rebounds per 100 possessions proved that he still has a spot in the league.
The ex-Louisville Cardinal isn't the biggest center (6-foot-7, 240 pounds), but he's a suitable body for head coach Joe Mazzulla's desire to alternate between big and small lineups. I could see Harrell nicely filling into Blake Griffin's role from last year.
Chances are the Celtics won't find a bigger man than Harrell on the open market, so they must act fast. Signing him sooner than later also means Boston won't have to trade away capital if it looks to add frontcourt depth ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
Time will tell if a potential Harrell signing moves the needle when it comes to the Celtics' championship odds. Boston is currently tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the best odds to win the 2023-24 NBA Championship
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