Following a pivotal Game 4 loss to the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics may want to consider what they can get for their non-essential big-men.
The Boston Celtics need to fix their uneven roster heading into the 2020-21 season. While Danny Ainge has built a legitimate contender through the draft and free agency, he has made his fair share of mistakes putting this roster together.
Perhaps the most obvious mistake is that a big man is not one of their five highest-paid players. Obviously, with the shift the league has seen to a more perimeter-oriented game, having wings and ball-handlers who can shoot 3-pointers is essential to winning in the modern game.
That said, the Celtics have invested maximum contract money to three different non-post players in the past year-plus since 2019 free agency started. Next offseason Jayson Tatum is likely to receive his super-max deal, and Marcus Smart could get his most handsome NBA payday in 2022.
Long story short, Boston has solidified the outside while neglecting to fortify the inside…and that has exposed a potentially fatal flaw in the Eastern Conference finals against Bam Adebayo and the Heat.
Perhaps it is time that Ainge makes things right and alleviates what has become a mini-logjam at the center position. Initially, the pivot spot was a point of weakness, but over the course of the season and playoffs, it has been able to be held up by the rag-tag bunch Brad Stevens came into the season with.
That said, Robert Williams has proven to be the standout of the group in the postseason, making Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter somewhat expendable–especially considering the rise of small-ball center Grant Williams and the potential of the “Five-leaf clover” lineup of Walker/Smart/Brown/Tatum/Hayward.
The Houdini has come up with an offseason trade for both: