The term “3-and-D” next to the 2020-21 the Boston Celtics is an oxymoron.
Removing Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown from the equation, Semi Ojeleye and Marcus Smart were the C’s only 3-and-D players.
Neither are excellent floor spacers, and only one of them is an elite defender, which means the Celtics technically did not have a pure 3-and-D role player. If Brad Stevens wants to contend, he needs to fill out the roster with at least two role players who fit the job description.
I’m not calling him a 3-and-D role player, but adding Al Horford is a perfect start to this process.
He provides elite interior defense, can still switch out onto the perimeter and is a credible outside threat. Teams can’t easily scheme Horford off of the floor on defense, and they can’t leave him open on offense. Frankly, it’s the perfect recipe for two-way success.
His passing, leadership and rolling are all bonuses in this case.
However, the Boston Celtics still have a long way to reconstruct their roster and find competent two-way floor spacers.
There are plenty on the market and plenty who will take a cheap deal.
The Celtics do not have to chase Duncan Robinson or Klay Thompson; all they need is a couple of guys who can demand the respect of opposing defenses and guard their position.
Here are a couple of guys who fit that description:
Boston Celtics 3-and-D target No.1) Danny Green
For a while, NBA fans and GMs alike were under the impression that Danny Green would remain with the Sixers after his contract expired.
However, new news has erupted that puts Green on the market. According to Keith Pompey, Green “probably won’t be a Sixer moving forward.”
Whether his word is credible or not is irrelevant when considering who Boston may be able to pursue. If Pompey’s word holds, the Cs need to be ready to acquire Danny Green.
Although Green’s on-ball defense has fallen off a bit since his days with the San Antonio Spurs, he is still one of the best team defending wings the league has to offer and can hold his own against certain matchups.
The Celtics can deploy Green as a roamer and utilize his daunting wingspan and elite instincts to influence shots at the rim. His defensive abilities would take a massive load off of Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum, allowing them to focus more on scoring and quarterbacking the Celtics’ scoring game.
On offense, Danny Green is one of the league’s better shooters at the wing position. He had a bit of a slump with the Lakers, but Green has made 41.3% of his 1194 triples in the last three NBA seasons.
His 3-point volume and 3-point percentage are better than any role player for Boston in the previous decade.
His shooting would change the team’s offense and provide Udoka with someone who can generate gravity and space by running around the court. He was also quite solid in the playoffs for Philly, shooting 38% from deep on 37 attempts in just eight games.
With Green obviously past his prime years and entering the back end of his career at 34 years old, he and his agent are unlikely to demand anything more than $8 million a year, if that at all.
The Celtics could swoop him up for as little as $10 million for two seasons, depending on the market for him if he does not receive much attention.
Realistically he will probably want a two or three-year deal fully guaranteed, netting around $6 million to $7 million per year, a price tag the Celtics can quickly meet if they move Thompson without bringing back too much salary.