It’s small moves like these that are sometimes dismissed and go almost unnoticed. The Celtics signed the uncoveted Chris Wilcox, a move which will receive little attention but is actually of the utmost significance to the Celtics roster. It adds much needed size, and Wilcox is a capable big defensively, on a team that strives to be both efficient and tenacious on defense.
Wilcox had to have heart surgery to repair an enlarged aorta in February, but has said his progress has been very steady since then and feels he is ready to play NBA basketball again.
“I had a lot of doubts about it before,” Wilcox admitted. “But after the surgery it just kept getting better and better. I’m just happy right now about being in a situation where I have the opportunity to play again. It’s a blessing.”
What does Wilcox bring to the C’s? Well, we already know, but in case you forgot, Wilcox is 6’10” and though slight of frame (He is listed at a mere 221 lbs) he is tough and is able to bang with the big men in the league, especially the backups that he often faces during his limited minutes.
Between 2005-06 and 07-08, as a member of the Seattle Supersonics, Wilcox put up excellent numbers: 12-14 ppg and roughly 8 rebounds per game. I’m not going to suggest Wilcox returns to those levels at all, but he’s strung together a nice 9 year career now as a typified role player.
What else may this move mean?
With Fab Melo, Jared Sullinger, and Ryan Hollins already aboard, it may be the end of Greg Stiemsma, who I mentioned in a possible sign & trade scenario. Now, it appears, it is likely Danny Ainge allows Stiemsma to walk entirely.
But can the Celtics rely on that core? Do they not need to add Darko Milicic as I suggested Thursday after the Timberwolves amnestied the gifted yet misguided center?
They need to add someone still — or perhaps — just keep Stiemsma. I’d believe in overstocking the cupboard before leaving the roster a healthy big man short of a Finals run. I realize the league is getting further and further away from a big man’s league, but you need to have the size to counter the teams that do have bigs. That’s why this Wilcox signing cannot be simply ignored; it is significant.