The NBA offseason is right around the corner. For the Boston Celtics, a lot needs to be looked at. Although they reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in the four years, a glaring need has yet to be completed. Many believe that the starting five determines how good a team is, however, the bench is what keeps a team alive deep in a game.
Having bench players that can contribute the type of play that solid starters in the NBA can are very valuable to a team’s success. Look at Miami for instance. Most of their bench players in Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are now full-time starters in this year’s playoffs. They are elite shooters and average defenders that can elevate a team’s performance whether they start or come off the bench. This offseason may not hold the cream of the crop in talented players, but this offseason does hold key players that can make a fringe finals contender into a finals contender.
In this free agency period, the Celtics should target two positions. The main position should be a point guard. A scorer who can shoot the ball at a league average, and can take minutes away from Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker. Augustin would be a great fit for Boston. At age 32, he has become one of the most slept on point guards in the league. By no standard is he an all-star, but as a sixth man or an injury replacement, he will be the guy. For his career, he is averaging almost 38 percent from three, and 41 percent from the field.
He spent the past few seasons as a starting guard for the Orlando Magic. His time in Orlando has been nothing but spectacular as he is a leader on and off the court for the young guys. His veteran leadership and shooting ability would be a fantastic fit for this young team. The Celtics shot terribly from three in their last two series against the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat. Adding a consistent shooter and a capable leader off the bench for the young guys to work off of would boost this team’s value.
The second position that the Celtics need is a center. Not just any center, but a center that can space the floor and rebound. Which is a tall task to ask, as many centers in the league that can do both are already taken. Luckily, there is a chance that Millsap’s market may not be as glimmering as he thinks it will be. Millsap is a starting-caliber big man. Mostly known for playing the power forward position, the forward has dabbled at the center position for small-ball lineups.
The Celtics could target Millsap on a very friendly deal. Millsap could provide the much-needed spacing that Daniel Theis and Robert Williams lack. Although Millsap would expect a starting role, having him come off the bench would be more suitable for his playstyle and team fit. Theis has been nothing but spectacular this past season. Although he doesn’t average the big numbers, it is safe to say that he’ll retain his starting job.
Having Millsap coming off the bench will allow the Celtics defense to flourish for the full 48 minutes. This Boston team was amongst the best defensively but struggled when they played three or more bench players. Adding a player who has averaged a block and a steal in his career will strengthen their bench defensively. Millsap is also a knockdown mid-range shooter, who is quick enough to expand to the three-point line. Although he doesn’t attempt many games, he is capable of drawing the defender out to the perimeter.
Both Augustin and Millsap will be great additions to the team, especially to the bench. Boston should target those two players to help boost their bench play both offensively and defensively. Both will be unrestricted free agents this offseason and could be the missing pieces to a Celtics championship title.
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