With Will Barton signing with the Raptors on February 28, the Boston Celtics lost out on the most frequently linked buyout market target. Boston’s interest in Barton, it should be noted, didn’t seem high due to the lack of an established role.
So where do the Celtics go from here? Inside The Celtics’ Bobby Krivitsky believes the team could take a look at a pair of over-the-hill former scoring aces who could still contribute in the right situation.
That includes former scoring champion and 10x All-Star Carmelo Anthony and former 7x All-Star Joe Johnson, who played for the Cs during the December 2021 COVID Omicron strain’s decimation of the depth charts of all 30 teams:
"“One option is bringing in Carmelo Anthony if he’s open to a role like Griffin’s. Given Anthony’s friendships with Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, Boston might have to compete with the Suns to sign him.”“There are other options for veteran leaders, including Joe Johnson, who the Celtics, including stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, valued having around in Johnson’s short time back in Boston last season.”"
The Boston Celtics shouldn’t consider Carmelo Anthony but should consider Joe Johnson
When looking at both talents, it’s undeniable that both could step in and play a complementary role to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. There is a key difference between the two, though, that makes Melo someone the team shouldn’t consider and makes Johnson someone who should be under consideration.
Johnson could be a locker room guy. Anthony can not.
That’s not to say that Anthony couldn’t be a positive locker room presence. If anything, all the battles he’s gone through with some of the best in the game give him a wealth of wisdom he can share with the young Celtics. But as someone who was always linked to draft classmate LeBron James, the idea of watching his team win without him playing a role may not be something he can handle.
And that’s okay. Anthony is a few years removed from being a No. 3 option for the Trail Blazers, so there is surely a contender out there that can feature him more than the Boston Celtics could at this point.
Johnson, on the other hand, has already served the Blake Griffin role in the locker room. At 41, no team realistically can expect him to have much of a role other than that. But Johnson has proven to ruffle no feathers in that position.