Boston Celtics: The “whos” and “whys” behind C’s recent signings

Jan 25, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens (right) watches warm-ups with player development staff member Steve Tchiengang before their game against the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 25, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens (right) watches warm-ups with player development staff member Steve Tchiengang before their game against the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics announced two new additions to their roster earlier this week in the form of forwards Malik Fitts and Kelan Martin, both of whom were signed to a 10-day contract.

The news causes commotion in the Celtics community with fans asking two important questions: why did they sign these guys and who are they?

The reason for these signings comes from the requirements of the league, as a team can only go two weeks with less than 14 standard contracts on their roster. The C’s were only at twelve standard contracts at the start of this week.

Had Brad Stevens not scooped up these players, the C’s would not be able to play against the Brooklyn Nets this Thursday. It could have been any random two players just to get under that safety net.

Additionally, the deadline for buyouts is March 1st–remember this date because it plays a significant role in Boston’s recent activity.

These two 10 day signings position the shamrocks well to be big-time buyers on the buyout market. Maybe bigger fish like a Gary Harris, Eric Bledsoe, or Robin Lopez could be in the pond here.

Now, I’ll preface the who by mentioning some potential ties between Brad Stevens and forward Kelan Martin according to

The article mentions the President of Basketball Operations originally recruiting Martin to Butler University back in 2013. There is a connection here between the two and we at HH are going to read into it.

The bottom line is the third-year pro may have a real chance to lock up a roster spot given his long-term history with Stevens.

Now, let’s get deeper into the question, “who are these guys?”

The “who’s” of new Boston Celtics signee, Kelan Martin

Kelan Martin is coming off being a rotational wing on the Indiana Pacers for the last season and a half. The Boston Celtics are getting a potential 3-and-D piece in the 6-5 small forward.

He has the nickname, “Baby Shaq” from former Boston Celtics All-Star, Rajon Rondo. This was, of course, way back when he was in middle school playing for the Louisville Legends Summer League squad.

It is noteworthy of his previous Celtics ties with not only Brad Stevens but the veteran point guard as well. This could play a part in him getting more of a fair shake of a tryout with Boston than his counterpart.

What will the Boston Celtics be getting from the former Butler product?

Martin plays well without the basketball, so look for him off of drive and kicks for open treys. He was a steady 40 percent from deep last year in 35 games for the Pacers.

He has also proven to be a plus defender during his time with both the Pacers and Timberwolves, which could lead him towards becoming yet another potential cog in this machine of defense.

The defense has been Ime Udoka’s calling card as a coach and is all a part of the current DNA of this Beantown team.

Despite being undersized for his position Kelan can guard up to three positions effectively.

Career averages of 5.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game do not jump off the page, but the impact here is more for the end of the bench anyways.

Any additional moves by the C’s are strictly to add pieces to the back end of that second unit and create injury insurance.

Injuries plague every NBA team and Boston is no stranger as they just finally hit the lottery in terms of good health. Should Tatum or Brown go down, this army needs reinforcements.

He’s not a household name being undrafted in 2019, but keep an eye open for some sleeper impact.

The “who’s” of new Boston Celtics signee, Malik Fitts

I cannot speak too much on power forward, Malik Fitts, who was recently waived by the Utah Jazz. He has had minimal impact in the league thus far and this very well could just be a brief stop for him.

However, while his averages of .9 points and 1.3 rebounds per contest may not be all that impressive (to say the least), we have to look deeper into his impact in college at Saint Mary’s.

In his junior year, Fitts boasted averages of 16.5 points to go with 7.1 rebounds per game which included a gaudy 40 percent shooting clip from distance.

I also took the liberty of looking at his 2020 draft scouting report from NBA Draft Net, where the 6-8 forward was described as a truck physically with freakish athleticism and good range on his jumper.

This height coupled with a 230-pound frame translates well with his ability to control post position against small defenders.

On the other side of the ball, he struggles defensively guarding against smaller players, which is something he would definitely need to improve on to have any success or playing time with the Boston Celtics.

At Saint Mary’s he turned the ball over at quite a high rate for a big man, coughing the ball up two times a contest.

Granted, he was playing a much more vital role on their offense. With Boston, if he plays at all it would likely be in smaller stints during garbage time.

The upside and seeing if Malik truly fits (no pun intended) would come from his ability to hit open shots and provide that contribution off the bench for a generally poor shooting team.

To wrap it up, these signings were done out of necessity and are more to position the Boston Celtics to abide by NBA rules and regulations while still maintaining roster flexibility come March 1st.

It would also appear that Kelan Martin has more of a shot to stay with the C’s than Malik Fitts, since he’s a more seasoned and well-rounded prospect.

Next. “Pass or Pursue” on 2 recently listed buyout options. dark