Boston Celtics Top Offseason Priority


As I type this, the Boston Celtics are once again getting blasted by the Miami Heat, all but assuring them a spot in this year's NBA Play-In Tournament as the Eastern Conference's seventh seed.  If they're fortunate enough to make it out of that, they'll earn a first round date with one of Philadelphia, Brooklyn or Milwaukee, and with that will come a first round exit.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

With chances at an extended playoff run miniscule already, that small opportunity was wiped away with the news of Jaylen Brown's injury cutting his season short.  So, let's focus on the offseason and one thing they absolutely have to do this summer: find a reliable big man.

I like Robert Williams a lot, but he just cannot be trusted to stay healthy. 

Danny Ainge took a gamble at this year's trade deadline.  Acquiring Evan Fournier came at the price of Daniel Theis.  Unfortunately for Ainge, that gamble didn't quite pay off.  Yes, Fournier has been playing better as of late, but the issue isn't so much with Fournier though, it's with the fact that it cost them Theis.

The loss of Theis was a major hit to Boston's center depth, and that lack of depth has been exposed as of late.  Williams has been inactive for nine of Boston's last 14 games. In those nine games the Celtics are just 3-6.

Ainge decided to put his faith in Williams and it has blown up in his face.  He was playing the best basketball of his young career at the time of the trade, but has had issues staying healthy in his first three seasons.  Sure enough, the injury bug once again bit Williams, leaving the Celtics with nothing but pure garbage at the center position. 

The Tristan Thompson signing has not worked out.  He has been an effective rebounder for the Celtics at times, and that's about it.  He's given them next to nothing offensively and defensively.  He's averaging a career low in points per game, and he can't defend some of the top bigs in the game.  He's been torched by Bam Adebayo in each of the past two games and was dominated by Nikola Vucevic in the game before that. 

Next man up is Luke Kornet.  Kornet doesn't deserve any type of analysis outside of the fact that he stinks.  So Boston is forced to play Grant Williams at center and Williams, like most NBA bench players, has some good nights but more bad nights.

If the Celtics are going to return to the top of the East, they're could use a big man who can hold his own against guys like Adebayo, Vucevic, Joel Embiid, Domantas Sabonis and others.  Theis proved he could do that.  Williams has shown the potential to do that, but if he can't stay on the court, that's irrelevant. 

At the very least, they need a guy who can give you some sort of production.  If he's a weaker defender, he's got to give you some offense.  If offense isn't his thing, he's got to bring some tough defense.  Right now Boston is getting none of that.

Who can Boston bring in?  I'm not sure.  There are options out there, but the problem is they won't have the cap space, as currently constituted, to bring any of those guys in.  Jarrett Allen is a pipe dream and would be a great type of player for this team.  I think a guy like Mitchell Robinson could help.  Heck, Daniel Theis will be a free agent.

Whether it's through free agency somehow, or through a trade, Boston has to improve its center position. 

Follow Derek on Twitter @mcvay34.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Boston Celtics Top Offseason Priority
Boston Celtics Top Offseason Priority
Boston Sports Syndicate
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