With the NBA free agent pool drying up more and more every day, we’re in that strange time in the offseason where teams have to come up with ways to still make their squads better. We’re going to team by team to look at what every franchise needs and how they can fill those holes. We’ll start at the top with the World Champion Boston Celtics.
The Needs: The Celtics were in a tough spot with James Posey. They were believed to be offering Posey three years at the full mid-level. That’s a pretty good deal for a 6th man. The problem is, New Orleans one-upped the C’s and gave Posey that all-important 4th year he was looking for. Now the Celtics certainly need to find a new 6th man, add bench depth, and also add those intangibles and toughness that Posey always brought to the floor. He was the ultimate bench player and could literally give them good minutes at the 2, 3, AND 4 spots. That’s a tough hole to fill. The Celtics also need a back up point guard and could use one more shooter. They added to their center depth by signing Patrick O’Bryant.
The Possible Solutions: In-house, the C’s still have their share of unrestricted free agents that could help fill some roles. They have big decisions to make with Eddie House and Tony Allen. Boston would love to have House back, on the right terms, and House would probably love to be back. Eddie is looking for some job security though and a one-year deal isn’t going to cut it. The money might not have to be perfect, but the years need to be there. 3 years, $2 mil a year? House made @1.5 million this season. The Celtics probably see more value in Tony Allen than anyone else and to his credit, TA was well-behaved all season. He has real talent, but he also has had multiple major knee surgeries, and is still a work in progress.
They’d love to bring back PJ Brown, though retirement seems to be the route PJ is headed. Sam Cassell lobbied for a player/coach role at times during the season and has a great relationship with Doc, so although that might not be option 1 for Boston, it’s there. Draftee JR Giddens can play that Tony Allen role but putting those two together in the same locker room might not be such a good idea.
In the free agent market, the Celtics have the midlevel exception to play with. The closest match to Posey’s versatility and toughness who is unrestricted and out there is Matt Barnes. He can hit the three, can play the 4 a bit and is scrappy (though super inconsistent). Other guys who could be a nice match are Michael Finley, Juan Dixon, Shaun Livingston (the C’s can afford to wait), and Lindsey Hunter. The Steph deal is not going to happen.
Our suggested moves? Eddie House, Matt Barnes, and Shaun Livingston. Then sometime in late February call PJ Brown and Sam Cassell. Sound familiar?
If you’re Executive of the Year Danny Ainge, what do you do?