Celtics Center Options

You can’t go into the season, even if it’s a rebuild, with Robert Williams as your starting center. You just can’t. It’s borderline immoral. He isn’t ready and the Celtics can still make the playoffs, win a round or two if Marcus Smart continues to make his jump shots, The Jays become what Dame and C.J became in Portland after Aldridge left and if Hayward returns to anything resembling his All-Star self.

Nikola Vucevic will turn 29 right before the end of October. His 2018-19 campaign was undoubtedly his most successful. Leading the Orlando Magic to their first playoffs post-Dwight Howard and earning All-Star honors for the first time and making my personal All-NBA Team. That last thing doesn’t mean anything really. But I always viewed Nicky with a curious eye. The player I am irrationally invested in and continuously cranks above-average offensive stats for poor teams. Vucevic is very craft around the basket, can score reliably and you can live with him on the defensive end of the floor.

Vucevic was also run off the floor against Toronto’s bigs and emasculated by intimidating wingspan. The positive you can takeaway from the 5-game drubbing Orlando received is their best offensive threat had little to no support on the roster. The lone conduit was shutdown leaving Aaron Gordon to figure out how to score when the paint wasn’t an option. On the Celtics Vucevic will have a abundance of shooters that’ll open up the floor. Perhaps the story will be different upon entering Boston?

If Orlando is willing to do anything to keep him they can pay Vucevic $189.5 million for five-years. Of course, this decimated their ability to build on a successful (given the low expectations) 42-40 campaign. I doubt Nicky will command a hefty salary close to $200 million. I believe his ceiling is lower than Al Horford’s rumored offer from the Dallas
Mavericks; 4-years, $112 million. Which is too rich for Ainge’s blood, as it should. If Vucevic’s price tag can fall below one-hundred then I’d be excited if Boston obtained him.

Guesstimate Celtics Contract: four-years, $95 million, fourth-year player option

There was once a time DeMarcus Cousins was the most ballyhooed player constantly rumored to be on the trade market. Speculation was nonstop about what Cousins could do once he was freed from the inept claws of Sacramento. Well we got to see what Cousins could do on a team with a bit of a better handle on things in New Orleans next to Anthony Davis. But an Achilles injury 48-games into his first and only full season as a Pelican sidelined the All-Star for the rest of his tenure as A.D’s teammate. We were once again left to wonder what Cousins could do for a playoff team.

Our questions finally were answered this postseason and the results were pretty encouraging. Cousins bounced back well from an injury which derailed plenty of careers in the past, averaging 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assist in thirty-games for Golden State. After the Pelicans offered him a contract that was to his displeasure the disgruntled Cousins called up Golden State and volunteered to play for the minimum asking price to rebuild his value in a situation that would allow him to recover at his own pace.

Cousins logged in 18 minutes a night in the six-game NBA Finals loss to the Raptors. Which is shocking to me because watching those games it came off as if the injury plagued Warriors were riding Cousins almost as hard they rode Steph and Klay. Cousins is noticeably a step slower since his injury and it probably doesn’t matter to question if he’s trying on defense anymore since his full effort isn’t worth anything. But he fought like hell to contest every-time the ball came his way.

His three-point shot’s fallen off. Despite playing with Kevin Durant and the greatest backcourt every Cousins shot a miserable 27 percent from deep off of 3.2 attempts. There is legitimate concern he isn’t the same player we grew infatuated with a couple of years ago. Most likely because he isn’t the same.

He’s still very serviceable depending how you use him. Depending on his price tag the Celtics could benefit from playing him in sparingly as a spark-plug that only starts the first five-minutes of every game and is brought off the bench in the middle of the third quarter to go after 2nd units.

Guesstimate Celtics Contract: 2-years, $40 million, team-option 2nd year.

Two more options for Boston aren’t in free agency, but on the trade block. Clint Capela is on a contract with four-years left, $66 million. Steven Adams has two-years remaining with $53 left. Both the Rockets and Thunder are wishing to cut the expenses of their respective expensive rosters by auctioning off anyone that isn’t a future Hall of Famer.

Adams and Capela are both defensive monsters and fantastic pick and roll threats. They are well worth their hefty salaries and I don’t see how Boston isn’t the one throwing in assets to obtain these apparent burdens. A deal i believe makes sense is a sign-and-trade for the second most hated guard in Boston Terry Rozier to facilitate the trade.

What this roster is missing with Baynes gone and Morris unlikely to return because of his redundancy the Celtics need a bruiser that isn’t afraid to bang against Joel Embiid and sometimes Giannis.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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