When asked this afternoon what the most pressing need on the Boston Celtics roster is currently, general manager Danny Ainge gave an interesting answer, via boston.com:
"Ainge was pressed on what he thinks the Celtics’ top need is currently.“I would say maybe shooting with size,” he replied.“There are a lot of different ways that you can win in this league,” said Ainge when asked specifically why he felt that way, “but I would say that shooting, we could use shooting, we could use passing, but you always need defense."
To recap, Ainge wants a big man that can also shoot. Whether that means a tweener forward, or a more traditional big man is unclear.
The latter category has plenty of guys available that can shoot and defend the 2-4 positions. On the Orlando Magic roster alone, Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross can both conceivably fit that description. Gordon isn’t as capable on the defensive end, but he is a far more explosive and versatile scorer than Ross.
Elsewhere, Harrison Barnes is a viable option. Currently taking four 3-pointers per game and converting at a 41% clip, Barnes could be available if the Sacramento Kings remain out of the postseason picture. (Last night’s loss certainly didn’t help Boston’s cause).
If a more traditional big man is what Ainge craves, there are a few that could be available if their teams continue to lose. Davis Bertans, an oft-mentioned name around these parts for the last year, is the sharpest shooter that fits that description.
Washington just knocked off the Brooklyn Nets and the reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat, though, so enough momentum can force them to hold off from selling. Bradley Beal also seems intent on staying in D.C. for the foreseeable future.
On the free-agent market, Ersan Ilyasova is an intriguing option, and Wilson Chandler is also sitting at home. Neither qualifies as much of a splash, but they cost nothing but a roster spot.
We’ll see how Danny Ainge addresses this situation, but either way, the Boston Celtics could use a deal to bust out from the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference at just 11-9.