Grading the Boston Celtics Offseason Moves Thus Farby John Devereaux November 24, 2020 0 comments
The Boston Celtics have made moves within the past few days, some good, some questionable. Boston had looming questions heading into free agency. After a successful draft, the team still had some holes to fill and other positions to solidify. Here are the grades to which each free agency transaction the Celtics have made thus far.
Without a doubt, this deserves an A+. Tatum was an MVP candidate for most of the 2019-2020 season. He averaged 23.4 points on tremendous splits and helped led the Celtics to yet another eastern conference finals appearance.
The way the Celtics handled Gordon Hayward‘s situation was awful. Kevin O’Conner of the Ringer tweeted out that the team had intentions to deal Hayward to the Indiana Pacers in a sign and trade. The Pacers offered center Myles Turner and forward Doug McDermott. Two young players that the Celtics can utilize. However, the report was that the Celtics would not take less than Turner and Victor Oladipo or Turner and T.J. Warren.
Danny Ainge is one of the best trade makers in the league. He is always looking to win every trade. However, the Pacers would not give up two starting-caliber players in return for an aging and injury-prone Hayward. What eventually happened, is Hayward received a larger offer from the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte offered Hayward a large contract in 2014, but the Jazz matched the offer for the then restricted free agent.
Now Hayward is an unrestricted free agent and chose to take the money in Charlotte. Thus leaving Boston empty-handed. However, there are talks that Charlotte will turn the signing into a sign and trade. The Celtics will not receive the quality of players that the Pacers offered, but could at least get something in return.
Trading Kanter was a smart move by Ainge. Kanter received little to no playing time during the playoffs and was outplayed by the younger big man on the roster. Tacko Fall, the Celtics’ biggest project, received more crucial playing time during the Toronto Raptors series than Kanter did.
Kanter is among the best offensive rebounders in the league. The Celtics loved having Kanter for those purposes. Kanter was never a long term solution for Boston, as he was there as a rental until Robert Williams and Fall became usable in games.
The trade sends Kanter back to Portland in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick and a $5 million trade exception. This allowed the Celtics to clear cap space for when free agency started. It also will give more opportunities for Williams and Fall down the stretch.
Poirier was unhappy with his role coming off the bench during garbage time. He went to the front office this offseason proclaiming his displeasure about his role. With a loaded center depth chart it was hard for Poirier to receive meaningful minutes. Especially in the playoffs, where he mostly rested on the end of the bench.
Poirier was not what many thought he could be in his first season. He came into the organization as a hyped-up foreign prospect that could fight in the paint defensively and rebound. After one season, he would lose minutes to Robert Williams and Grant Williams who were way more proficient defensively and rebounding.
The Celtics traded Poirier to Oklahoma City with cash considerations in return for a heavily protected second-round pick and a $2.6 million trade exception. This freed up cap space to which the Celtics would spend in free agency.
Teague is a great pick up for the Celtics. They needed a veteran guard who can help lead a bench filled with young players. Teague can come into the game and get meaningful minutes as if he was a starting point guard. The veteran guard has plenty of experience leading a team in the playoffs from his time in Atlanta. The deal is only worth the veteran minimum for one year.
Wanamaker’s team option was not picked up by the Celtics. This move was not intended for the team to resign him either. The team made the right decision to move on from their backup point guard in exchange for a more experienced one. Wanamaker was not terrible for Boston, but his lack of experience in the NBA showcased throughout the playoffs. He eventually signed a short-term deal with the Golden State Warriors.
It is understandable that the Celtics needed a center. However, the team already has Daniel Theis, Williams, and Fall. Adding another center only decreases the minutes for the younger core in Williams and Fall. Thompson is a premier rebounder and is capable of averaging a double-double in the right position.
The deal causes an overload of mediocre centers. Instead of going out and trading for a reliable center, the Celtics just added another depth center. Boston should have learned from last season when the team had five centers on the roster. Players get unhappy, younger players develop slower, and the biggest part is that they are not getting better at the position.
Thompson is better than Kanter and Poirier, to whom the team had traded away. But Williams and Theis have the better upside. Fall is also an intriguing prospect that deserves more minutes this upcoming season. But with Thompson in the mix, it seems Fall will spend most of his time with the Maine Red Claws. Thompson’s contract is worth $19 million over two years.