The modern-day NBA is a star driven league, but having these types of players alone is not the key to finding sustained success and the 2020-21 Boston Celtics were a prime example of this sentiment.
Despite having the likes of All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown at their disposal, the Cs proved to be arguably the most disappointing team in the association considering that just last season they made it to within two games of reaching the NBA Finals and, in their follow-up campaign, they went just 36-36 and were bounced in round-one of the playoffs.
Now, one can certainly say that a large portion of this underwhelming campaign can be attributed to injuries and COVID-19 related complications, but, even still, it was quite apparent that Boston’s lack of quality depth players played a rather sizable role in their ultimate demise.
Because of this, as we embark deeper and deeper into the 2021 offseason fans and media alike are all anticipating that Brad Stevens and co. will make much-needed roster shakeups to reshape the look of this team of October’s tip-off.
While we here at HH have obviously suggested that the Boston Celtics could — and in some instances should — look into making some blockbuster trades for top-billed names, we are also heavily invested in the concept of seeing “lesser” transactions be made to better fill-out their roster.
Be it by means of deals that match salaries or by utilizing what’s left of their TPEs, there are plenty of non-stars out there that could be attained by the franchise this summer, and we at HH believe 3, in specific, should be sought after:
Non-star target for the Boston Celtics No. 1) Justin Holiday
Though the Boston Celtics do in fact have two of the best wings in the association today in Tatum and Brown, the depth behind them is truly lacking.
Over the past few years, the team’s decision makers have certainly tried to bolster the rotation by taking two players in the lottery at such a position during back-to-back drafts (Romeo Langford in 2019; Aaron Nesmith in 2020), but both have yet to translate into true difference makers — though Nesmith certainly has shown glimpses.
Because of this, Boston will likely look to bring aboard already established players at the position with ample experience this summer and, despite not having much wiggle room in the salary department, they still have several of ways to go about landing such an asset.
One method they should consider is utilizing the remaining $11.5 million of the Gordon Hayward TPE and trading for a guy like, say, Justin Holiday from the Indiana Pacers.
Under contract for another two years at an average salary of $6.1 million, the eighth-year veteran is a quality trade target for a multitude of reasons: his team-friendly deal, his ample experience, his specific skillset, etc.
This past season, in 72-games played, the wing averaged 10.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, a steal, and half a block per outing while shooting an impressive 38 percent from deep.
A highly versatile defender with a 6-6 frame and 7-foot wingspan, the 3-and-D Holiday would be a tremendous addition to Boston’s rotation is acquired.