With a roster spot available, the Boston Celtics appear to have their sights set on adding a big man before the 2022-23 season begins.
The C's expressed "a little interest" in LaMarcus Aldridge during free agency, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who also noted that Dwight Howard could be an option for the franchise.
Boston's interest in adding a veteran center comes as little surprise following the news that Robert Williams III will reportedly be sidelined four-to-six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic left knee surgery this week.
The "cleanup" procedure comes six months after Williams underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He is expected to miss the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign.
Williams emerged as a key contributor for the Celtics in 2021-22, averaging 10 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.2 blocks in 61 games—all starts—while shooting 73.6 percent from the floor.
Behind Williams, the Celtics have Al Horford and Luke Kornet on the depth chart. Horford will see the majority of minutes at center to begin the season, but having Kornet as his backup isn't ideal.
Aldridge, 37, is undoubtedly past his prime. However, he was still a key contributor for the Brooklyn Nets in 2021-22, averaging 12.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 47 games while shooting 55 percent from the floor.
The seven-time All-Star might not be set on returning to the NBA in 2022-23, though. During an appearance on The Crossover NBA Show, Chris Mannix and Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated reported that Aldridge will "likely" retire this offseason.
If that's the case, the Celtics would need to do some heavy convincing in order to get the veteran to return to the court.
If Aldridge does retire, the C's could pivot to Dwight Howard, who had a decent season off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021-22. He averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 60 games while shooting 61.2 percent from the floor.
Hassan Whiteside, Tristan Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are among the other centers still available for the taking.
Luckily for the Celtics, Williams shouldn't be sidelined for too long. However, as they look to get back to the NBA Finals in 2022-23, adding another veteran big man could be a wise decision.