Now that the moratorium period is over, the Celtics can officially sign the free agents they have acquired so far in this offseason. Boston has kept most of their roster intact, and added Jason Terry for good measure. There is still a lot more work that the Celtics have to do before the roster is complete. So lets take a look at each position, and see where they may have to improve or just add a player or two.
Even before the Kendrick Perkins trade the Celtics have lacked in size. This year may be a different story depending on the development of our rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo.
As of right now, it looks like Kevin Garnett will be the starting center. Much to his disliking, KG is willing to do what is best for the team. This past season playing center, KG looked younger and more agile than ever before and his stat lines proved that the change in position was not only good for him, but the team.
Joining KG at center, Jared Sullinger is a likely candidate. Doc Rivers in an interview on NBATV said that they wanted to play him at center, and with his size thats not a bad idea. Throughout the summer league Sullinger has backed his opponents down every time he gets into the paint. If he can gain more strength, he’d definitely be able to play center in the NBA, despite being 6’9″.
Don’t be surprised if Chris Wilcox returns for next season. He’s already expressed interest in coming back, its just up to Boston to offer him a contract.
With the re-signing of Brandon Bass, the Celtics have their starting power forward for next season. Bass proved that he can be a starter, but my only concern is his height and defense. But near the end of the season, he was playing at a high level, and was very consistent in the playoffs on the offensive end.
The backup power forwards will probably be a combination of Sullinger and Fab Melo, along with JaJuan Johnson and possibly Jeff Green. Personally I would like to see the Celtics sign a veteran power forward so Green can play his natural position at small forward.
As I look at it, the power forward position is our biggest weakness. Other than Brandon Bass, there is a lack of experience and depth, but there is talent. I’ve already been impressed with how well Sullinger has played in the summer league, and maybe he’s our new Glen Davis.
Like the past 14 seasons, there is no question that Paul Pierce will be the starting small forward. But now that he’s coming to the end of his career, his minutes will have to be minimized to a certain degree.
Jeff Green will be the backup to Pierce, and as long as Green doesn’t get into any foul trouble, the Celtics should be set at small forward.
There is also the chance that Kris Joseph may make the roster. He’s proven himself so far down in Orlando, and seeing that the Celtics might have to play 10-12 guys, its possible that we may see Joseph getting minutes during the season
With Ray Allen going to Miami, Avery Bradley is now the starter at shooting guard. One thing worth noting is that Bradley is coming off of shoulder surgery and from what I hear may miss the beginning of the season. If he does miss some time, Jason Terry will fill in.
Jason Terry being the 6th man will be huge for Boston. The Celtics need a guy who can come off the bench and give 10-15 points a night. The last time they had a player with this type of offensive production off the bench, it was 2008 when they had James Posey.
Next on the depth chart would be E’Twaun Moore. While it seems like the Celtics are trying to convert him into a point guard, he’d be much better served at shooting guard.
Rajon Rondo will be the General on the floor once again as the starting point guard for the Celtics. In the five years of the Big 3 era, Rondo hasn’t had a decent backup. Keyon Dooling did a good job, but the Celtics need a guy who can play long enough to give Rondo some rest.
Jason Terry can also play point guard, so its possible that the Celtics are banking on players who can play multiple positions.
I’d really like to see the Celtics add one more guard. There are rumors that the Celtics are interested in both Courtney Lee and John Lucas III. Boston still has a bi-annual exception worth around $2 million and they have some veteran minimums. The Celtics would have to do a sign and trade with Houston to acquire Lee, but he’d definitely be worth giving a player and a 2nd round pick.
Next season should be good as long as they remain healthy. When at full strength there is no team that can beat the Celtics but themselves.