Free agency is over, and the Celtics still have enough picks to clog Maine for a decade. While I’m sure Danny Ainge had good reasons for not making a move, his decision to stay idle at the trade deadline hurt us while other teams got better. The Raptors sured up their front court with Serge Ibaka and a solid all-around player in PJ Tucker. The Cavaliers acquisition of Kyle Korver is looking like a smarter move each game they play. And, the Wizards are playing their best basketball, proving that they belong in contention for the top spot in the East. Without a move in the near future, I see the Celtics faltering to these teams down the stretch.
Luckily, there are short-term options the Celtics can take advantage of before Wednesday, March 1st. Of these options, many are veterans looking for their last shot to be on a championship team, and the others just weren’t getting the minutes they deserved. I’m praying that Ainge seriously consider one of these players, otherwise, they may end up on a team like the Cavaliers, who have the Celtics breathing down their neck for first place. With that said, here are three players that fit a need with the Celtics and push the team in a good direction:
This is by far my favorite buyout option. It’s a shame that he’s been stuck in the shadows of Anthony Davis because Terrence Jones can ball. So far this season, Jones is averaging 11.5 ppg and 5.9 rpg.Those are impressive stats for a guy only playing 25 minutes per game. They only got better when Jones took over in the starting lineup sans Davis. In fact, it appears consistent starting minutes is what he needs.
While this may be a golden opportunity for the Celtics to get depth at the position heading into the toughest part of the season, I don’t think Danny Ainge is completely sold on Jones, or the fact that he has to cut a player in order to pick him up. At the same time, he’s a great rental option, there is no commitment for next season, and if it doesn’t work out no harm no foul. I’m pleading with Ainge to take a chance on Jones, but if he doesn’t, there is another option to help us in the rebounding department.
Bogut, as just mentioned, will not do much damage on the offensive end. While he’s only 32, his skill set has regressed to that of a guy you can only trust on the boards. He will not stand out for the Celtics, in fact, he’d more than likely play minimal minutes. If the Celtics acquired Bogut, I see him playing a role similar to what Amir Johnson does currently, but in reverse. He’d cut into Jerebko’s minutes (YES!), and be a rebound machine on our second team. Unfortunately, as they are in the standings, the Cavaliers appear to be in the Celtics way (of attaining Bogut):
Even if the Cavs are the favorites to land Bogut, Ainge needs to make an effort at swaying him. At this point in the season, it’s hard to find a guy who can get 13.4 rebounds per 36 minutes at a cheap price. If they get Terrence Jones,though, Bogut is an afterthought.
I’m definitely stretching with this one, but here me out. Let’s start out with his versatility. At 6’7″, Barnes is a perfect fit for a Celtics team that prides itself on players that can play multiple positions. Normally playing the SF position, Barnes could easily step up and play at PF. I’m sure you’re thinking right now “Isn’t he just a tough guy that would bring negative attention to the Celtics?”. This is a reasonable assumption given his past, but this could work in the Celtics favor. After Demare Carrol bodied Isaiah Thomas the other night and the incident with the Wizard’s earlier in the season, a tough guy could be exactly what this team is missing. This is for Ainge to decide, and I’m sure Barnes isn’t first on the list considering how far Jaylen Brown has come, but I’d at least give Barnes a look.