Boston Celtics

  • After trading Daniel Theis to the Indiana Pacers and losing out on Thomas Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics are in need of a backup big man.

    Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported that Boston “is now unlikely to use [its $17.1 million trade exception] to acquire another substantial piece.

    The Celtics are already expected to have their biggest luxury tax payment ever next season. With that in mind, let’s look at some potential bigs that may fit in Boston:

  • DeMarcus Cousins

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: DeMarcus Cousins #4 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles past Wenyen Gabriel #35 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of a game at Crypto.com Arena on April 03, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 03: DeMarcus Cousins #4 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles past Wenyen Gabriel #35 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of a game at Crypto.com Arena on April 03, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

    People may scoff at the sight of this name on a list of potential Celtics players. He’s played on six teams in the past five seasons, not many teams are itching to keep him around.

    He’s a quality backup center though. In this postseason with the Denver Nuggets, Cousins averaged 10.6 points in 11.4 minutes, shooting 68 percent from the field and 53 percent from three.

    He also made less than $700,000 last season, and while he’ll likely want more than that, Boston won’t be breaking the bank to bring in Cousins as a solid backup center.

  • LaMarcus Aldridge

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 29: Head coach Steve Nash and Lamarcus Aldridge #21 of the Brooklyn Nets talk after the play in the first half against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on January 29, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JANUARY 29: Head coach Steve Nash and Lamarcus Aldridge #21 of the Brooklyn Nets talk after the play in the first half against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on January 29, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

    At 36 years old, Aldridge is in the winter of his NBA career, he’s even retired once already. Yet he still posted 12.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season with the Brooklyn Nets.

    Any sort of consistent scorer off the bench for Boston is a plus, and not many bigs can do it at the level that Aldridge can for the money it would take to pay him.

  • Hassan Whiteside

    PORTLAND, OREGON - APRIL 10: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Utah Jazz reacts during action against the Portland Trail Blazers in the second quarter at Moda Center on April 10, 2022 in Portland, Oregon.

    PORTLAND, OREGON – APRIL 10: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Utah Jazz reacts during action against the Portland Trail Blazers in the second quarter at Moda Center on April 10, 2022 in Portland, Oregon.

    While he isn’t what he was in his best years with the Miami Heat, Whiteside still provided quality bench minutes in the past few years. Last season he averaged 8.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 17.9 minutes with the Jazz.

    Unlike the two first big men on this list, Whiteside could fill the role of the rangy, shot blocking big that Robert Williams plays. Of course this would only be to some extent because of the differing talent levels, but Williams certainly gets injured enough to add an insurance policy to the roster for cheap money.

     

     

  • Dwight Howard

    Feb 23, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 23, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Similar to Cousins, Howard was on six teams in the past seven seasons, meaning there’s a reason teams don’t want to keep him around for the long term. He’s also old, as he’ll be 37 years old by the time Christmas comes around.

    What gets him on this list is that he’s cheap, and he can score and rebound in spurts. He averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds last season with the Lakers. If Boston can’t land any of its preferred centers, Howard could be worth a low-risk shot.

  • Acquiring Malcolm Brogdon in a trade and Danilo Gallinari in free agency are valuable moves. But the failed attempt of signing Bryant in free agency shows they’re still looking for a backup big man.

    There’s no intel on these guys being linked towards the Celtics, just players who can fit a mold that would boost their bench for short money.