With news that unrestricted free agent Thomas Bryant plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in a starting role the Boston Celtics can’t offer him, the Celtics will instead have to look elsewhere to find a great backup.
Though no starting spot for future Celtics centers is on the table, the often-injured Robert Williams III and veteran Big Man Al Horford need to remain fresh for the playoffs. With several notable exceptions for traded players (TPEs), it is highly likely that the team will turn to trades to fill such a need.
But if they’re looking to sign a player on a minimum contract, there are a few names out there worth kicking the hoops – let’s take a look at the candidates.
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At 36, LaMarcus Aldridge isn’t the seven-time All-Star he once was in his prime, but the Celtics just need a player who can stay on the court and eat minutes into the postseason, and anything else is a bonus .
Aldridge has been clearly on the decline for the past two seasons but still managed 12.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game with the Brooklyn Nets last season and can shoot the ball off the basket and hold the ball up a bit pass on.
Add in his personal connection to Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, dating back to their days with the San Antonio Spurs, and Aldridge could be Boston’s man for the job.
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Former Phoenix Sun center Frank Kaminsky, who is considerably younger than Aldridge at 29, could make a lot of sense for the same reasons as Aldridge, but perhaps even with some perks for a deal beyond just one season.
While Aldridge was producing solid numbers from deep in his prime, it wasn’t until the 2020-21 season that Frank the Tank was a respectable shot from deep with similar scoring stats across the board.
Kaminsky (and perhaps everyone on this list) may be waiting for the market to see how opportunities might develop if certain players end up switching, but the Wisconsin product is unlikely to play a bigger role at either a competitor or Boston probably sign a better big man for a minimum contract.
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You might notice a pattern here with the skills each of the previous players have compared to Boogie Cousins. true 7-footers who can shoot and pass a bit but slipped enough to be within reach of such a commitment.
Perhaps concerns linger over Cousin’s prickly behavior early in his career, but he was cast as a model teammate in his last few stints, averaging 9.0 points, 5.6 boards and 1.5 assists per game.
None of these big three are likely to take on a major role on the team, but given what’s being asked of them, very solid signings for the job would be at hand as long as they know that that wouldn’t be their role.
This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire.
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