After a disappointing playoff run ending with a loss to the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics will look to get stronger and give Banner 18 another shot. Limited trade assets and an improving Eastern Conference means that Danny Ainge has some work to do in free agency.
With the labor situation looming, we aren't sure what the new financial NBA will look like, or when the season will even start. That being said, it's hard to predict at this moment what teams will be able to do in free agency. Regardless, here are five realistic free agents who could help the Celtics get back to championship form.
Yes, this the shirt Stevenson wore after winning the NBA championship. Anyway...
Stevenson isn't the kind of player who will fill the stat sheet or take over a game. He only averaged 5.3 points per game this past regular season.
But anyone who watched the Finals saw what he's capable of. He is a ferocious defender who plays with a huge edge, especially in big games. He may have made a fool of himself a few years ago when his Wizards got spanked by LeBron's Cavs, but he made up for it this year. Stevenson spent time guarding both Wade and LeBron, while also making some huge three-pointers.
DeShawn would fit in well coming off the bench for the Celtics and defending the other team's best perimeter scorer. His shooting is a nice bonus.
I hear the Celtics would also get Soulja Boy courtside at every game. (If you don't get the joke, google it.)
This won't exactly get the Celtics much younger. Sorry.
The 38-year-old Hill still has a lot to offer, most notably his great perimeter defense...notice a theme here? He proved with the Suns last season that he can still play significant minutes, and even provide an offensive spark. Of course, he's not the explosive pre-injury Grant Hill. But he probably wants a shot at a championship the way Shaq did and would fit in well with this veteran bunch.
Another wing player who can shut down high scoring stars. If you need evidence, watch the tapes of him guarding Kobe a couple years ago in the playoffs when he was on the Rockets. There are very few players who can give Kobe Bryant so much trouble.
With Rudy Gay returning, the Grizzlies will be loaded at the wing position with Gay, Tony Allen, Sam Young and OJ Mayo.
And who doesn't want their very own Shane Battier bobblehead?
In my last article, I said that Big Baby Davis was too undersized. Well, Hayes is actually shorter. But he certainly plays a lot bigger than 6'6".
Hayes is flat out tough, no doubt about it. He's an efficient player who won't put the team on his back offensively, but has the ability to rack up rebounds. I don't necessarily think he's the answer as the starting center, but he could certainly be a very good rotation player for the Celtics.
Similar to Chuck Hayes, I'm not sure that the veteran big man is the answer as a starting center.
The fact of the matter is that the Celtics will be fairly limited financially, and Mohammed is a decent center who can provide quality minutes for a reasonable price. Anything is better than Nenad Krstic, who recently left for Russia.
Hopefully this would only be a one-year deal that wouldn't hinder a potential shot at Dwight Howard. If you're reading this Dwight, which you're not, come to Boston!
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