The Boston Celtics’ hopes will be sky high come free agency.
That’s because the team is riddled with holes from point guard to center, thus making this summer’s offseason the perfect opportunity to change that.
Old age, injuries, fatigue and even a sneaky door hinge have caused harm to the Celtics roster this season.
Rajon Rondo, Leandro Barbosa and Jared Sullinger all fell victim to season-ending injuries. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, in their 17th and 14th seasons respectively, have dealt with fatigue and nagging injuries. Fab Melo…well, that’s just Melo being Melo.
With all that said, Boston has been a prime example of the importance of roster depth.
Luckily, there are several soon-to-be free agents on the market this summer that could solve some of the team’s dilemmas.
Sure, Jack’s not the player who will draw crowds to the arena. However, he’s just the kind of player the Celtics need on their roster right now.
Minus Rondo, the team has struggled to find an answer at point guard.
Throughout the season, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley have all auditioned for the spot. Each experiment has resulted in a failure.
The solution could very well be Jack.
In 79 games for the Golden State Warriors, the 29-year-old averaged 12.9 points, 5.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds over 29.7 minutes a night. He also shot 45.2 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Jack is the definition of a do-it-all point guard. He can shoot, pass and even rebound well for his position. Not to mention, Jack’s three-point shooting proficiency would be a much-needed spark off the bench.
With Rondo likely to spend the early months of next season recovering from an ACL tear, having Jack would be very beneficial for Boston.
Martin is the one that got away for the Celtics.
The 35-year-old veteran spent the first half of the season as a free agent. Only a couple teams gave Martin a look. Even fewer seriously considered him.
For Boston, Martin made a lot of sense.
Losing Sullinger crippled a team that was already thin at frontcourt. With Chris Wilcox and Jason Collins as the Celtics’ only big men on the bench, they were forced to make a move. That move was to pick up unproven NBA rejects Shavlik Randolph and D.J. White.
It’s quickly beginning to look like GM Danny Ainge’s biggest mistake of the season.
Over 18 games for the New York Knicks, Martin has averaged 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocks over 23.9 minutes a night. He’s also shot 60.2 percent from the floor.
In comparison, Randolph (4.2 PPG and 4.4 RPG) and White (2.4 PPG and 1.1 RPG) have struggled in the small amount of court time they’ve seen. Heck, Brandon Bass—Boston’s starting power forward—only averages 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game on 48.6-percent shooting.
The Celtics have gotten a first-hand look at their screwup in the postseason.
In the team’s first-round series, Martin has averaged 6.5 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks over the first two games. But more importantly, he has provided the Knicks with energy in critical moments.
For a team that is lacking in its interior toughness, Boston would be foolish to make the same mistake twice.
As the trade deadline approached, rumors swirled about the Celtics’ interest in acquiring Redick (via ESPN's Marc Stein). However, the deadline came and went, with the sharpshooter landing with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Maybe Boston will have better luck over the offseason.
In years past, Ray Allen and Eddie House gave the team an outside shooting spark. They were the type of players that could go on a flurry at a moment’s notice, knocking down threes from anywhere on the court.
This year, Terry was supposed to be that guy. Instead, he’s put together one of the worst seasons of his career.
Redick would be perfect for that role.
In 78 games this season, the 28-year-old has averaged 14.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.2 rebounds over 30.5 minutes a night. He’s also shot 43.4 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from three-point range.
Much like he did over his four-year career at Duke, Redick has terrorized opponents from outside. Whether spotting up or running off a screen, he’s been effective. Furthermore, Redick has even developed an inside game, taking the ball to the hoop more frequently.
Now, as a double-threat, Redick has become even harder to guard for opponents.
The Celtics could seriously use a player like that.
Summing It Up
Josh Smith will likely be the name on top of every Boston supporter’s wish list this summer—deservedly so, as he’s a proven NBA All-Star who knows how to play the game.
However, given the Celtics’ payroll situation and deficiencies, it’s a move that just doesn’t make sense.
Instead, the team needs to focus on the players who can fill the numerous holes in its roster. They might not be the most popular names on the market. But if they can get the results, who cares?
Believe it or not, Boston is a team that doesn’t need to be blown up to become a contender again.
Injuries have prevented anyone from getting a true look at the potential of this team. But the few glimpses we’ve seen look promising.
Sometimes, finding the missing pieces to the puzzle is a lot more effective than buying an entire new puzzle.
It’s also the most cost-effective route.