The Boston Celtics need a center. The team has been searching for multiple years to solidify the position. Year after year the team struggles to protect the paint and grab rebounds on a consistent basis. Boston has not had a good center since the Kevin Garnett era. The time is now for Boston to make a move to complete this roster.
Although the Celtics have improved with the addition of Tristan Thompson and the progression of Robert Williams. The team still finds itself in the bottom half of the league in rebounding. Head coach Brad Stevens loves to play small ball, and with Daniel Theis, Thompson, and Williams all under 6’9”, the team struggles to defend bigger players.
Players such as Joel Embiid, Zion Williamson, and Jonas Valanciunas have field days against the Celtics. Even though the team’s centers are all good players, the team struggles against physical centers. A major reason the Celtics struggle to hold leads and lose close games is that the centers on the roster can not stop the opposing team from attacking the rim and allow awful offensive rebounds. It seems that every capable center in the NBA can score over 20 points on the Celtics. The same centers also have career nights in rebounds, and just have their way in the paint. Players like Valanciunas and Mason Plumlee looked like potential all-stars when facing Boston.
This is a plea to general manager Danny Ainge, to go out into the NBA market and find a center. A week ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers made it public that they will be sitting out Andre Drummond from games until they found him a new organization. Drummond is a league leader in rebounds and has done it throughout his career. Although he does not provide the scoring that elite centers have, his defense around the rim and rebounding talent are all the Celtics need. The team does not need every player to be a talented scorer. Boston has plenty of starters who can score the ball. Adding Drummond could easily help this struggling Celtics team become a contender.
Drummond is on an expiring contract. The Celtics would not have to give up a lot to obtain the center, nor have to worry about his expensive contract for the long term. A rental of Drummond could wake up the team. If the experiment works, then the team could either resign Drummond or go after a cheaper big man in free agency.
If Drummond is too expensive for Ainge, then the team can go after Hassan Whiteside from the Sacramento Kings. Whiteside has been having a great year off the bench. The center is a defensive monster, who can control the boards. Whiteside is a paint first player, he will dedicate all of his minutes to a craft that is lost in this era of basketball. He is on a very small contract, and Boston could easily acquire the rebounding center.
In conclusion, if the Celtics do not acquire an old school center such as Whiteside or Drummond the team will fall further down to mediocrity. The Celtics are built to win for a long time, but the team could be contending this year. They are a few pieces away, and the center position is the most important piece missing. Boston does not need a stretch five, they need a gritty rebounder to help control the pace of the game. When the Celtics acquire this center, whoever the center is, the team will find new heights.
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