Boston Celtics: Rasheed Wallace and 5 Veterans Worth a Gamble
After a very slow start to the season, the Boston Celtics have won eight of their last nine games to bring their record to 13-10.
One of the main causes of the Celtics' slow start has been their injury problems. Surprisingly, Kevin Garnett is the only player on the team who has played in every game this season.
Currently the Celtics' core players are all healthy, but they should be looking for a veteran free agent to come in just in case the injuries continue throughout the season.
Celtics president Danny Ainge has recently told CSNNE.com that he would be open to bringing in another player if the right one becomes available, saying, "If there's one player that's going to come in and make a difference, that we can get for a minimum contract, we'll look into that, for sure."
Here are five veteran free agents the Celtics should take a gamble on this season.
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The Celtics' biggest need is definitely at center. Even though Jermaine O’Neal starts at that position, Brandon Bass actually plays more minutes than him, forcing KG to play out of position often.
Dampier is a proven veteran with a lot of playoff experience. He doesn’t have a lot left in the tank, but he showed last season with the Heat he can still take up space in the middle. He averaged 3.5 rebounds per game and almost a block per game in only 16 minutes.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, the Celtics expressed interest in Dampier during the offseason and may be thinking about bringing him to Boston once again.
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According to sources close to the Celtics, James Posey’s agent was communicating with Celtics president Danny Ainge about a possible return to Boston when Posey was released by the Pacers a couple of weeks ago.
It makes sense that Posey would want to return to Boston, where he won the second championship of his career. On that title team, Posey was a defensive stopper off the bench who also knocked down a couple of clutch three-pointers during their title run.
The reason this signing probably didn’t happen is because of the success Mickael Pietrus has had this season. He is shooting 40 percent from three so far, but the Celtics should still consider Posey anyway since you can never have enough good defenders coming off your bench.
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Like Dampier, Przybilla is another center who has definitely slowed down, but is still capable of being productive if given the opportunity.
Last season, Przybilla averaged four rebounds per game in only 14 minutes. When he has played at least 20 minutes per game in a season, Przybilla has never averaged under 6.5 RPG and 1.2 BPG.
If the Celtics want to add Przybilla to give their frontcourt a boost, though, they are going to need to act fast. According to the Chicago Tribune, Przybilla has offers from the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, and will be looking to sign on with a team very soon.
I honestly expected this comeback attempt since I was surprised Wallace retired in the first place. Even though he did post career lows in almost every statistical category, it was only because he played 22.5 MPG, the lowest total in his career.
If Wallace does in fact return to the NBA, the Celtics will almost certainly be his first choice of teams to go to. Danny Ainge denied comment on the Wallace situation, but it is believed he’s not interested in bringing him back to Boston and it is now believed the Lakers may be the front-runners to land the retired big man.
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This would be a very unconventional signing for the Celtics, but they are in need of a point guard.
The Celtics only have two point guards on the roster, Rajon Rondo and Keyon Dooling. Rondo missed eight straight games with a wrist injury, and Dooling has only played in 10 games this season with a hip injury.
Arenas is by far the best point guard available if healthy, but it appears he may never be healthy enough to play again. His good friend and former teammate, Nick Young, recently stated Arenas had the same treatment on his knee that Kobe Bryant had to repair his knee.
I see this signing as a long shot, but if the Celtics go back to playing like they were at the beginning of the season or if Rondo gets hurt again, desperate measures may need to be taken to save this season.