Players That Could Take the Celtics Bench to Another Level
As much as it hurts me to admit, the Boston Celtics are not among the top-tier of contenders to win a title if the league finishes up this season at Disney. The C’s sit among a group of teams vying for the opportunity to have a run at winning the East against the heavily favored Milwaukee Bucks.
When I recently gave out a few end of season awards for the Celtics, I explored how the club’s lack of depth may eventually lead to its downfall. Truly contending for Banner 18 means shoring up the bench for Boston.
The Celtics front office should prioritize finding another perimeter player to take to battle down in Disney. With changing rules on adding FAs ahead of the postseason, here are some of my initial targets the Celtics should consider adding to the bench mob:
Shump will likely be one of the most popular names mentioned throughout this free agency series, but that doesn’t mean Boston shouldn’t give him a call. And if he cares about contributing to the cause over riding the bench to a ring, the Celtics are actually a perfect fit for the soon to be 30-year-old.
Boston could likely offer him the combination of a legit playoff run and real rotation minutes that Shump may desire. Shumpert has the ability to guard either wing position, and is a career 37.6 percent three point-shooter in the playoffs. Likewise, he’s an NBA champion to boot, and one of the most respected veterans available. Shump and Boston should think hard about the upside for both sides before passing on an agreement in the upcoming weeks.
Trey Burke will not have a sweeping impact on any franchise, but his ability to run an offense is something that can’t be overlooked by any team looking for bench help.
Burke lacks defensively, but he could provide some scoring punch for the Celtics bench unit. He’s shot over 34 percent from three-point range for his career, along with 3.5 assists per game.
Burke could earn some minutes as a second unit playmaker or just provide depth at point guard as the Celtics and Kemba Walker make a run in the East.
While Broekhoff is not a household name, he might actually be the most realistic free agent for the Celtics to target. Though he saw limited playing time in Dallas over the past two seasons, Broekhoff still shot over 40 percent from three on almost 150 attempts.
With Boston, Broekhoff could slot in at the two or three, and with over 95 percent of his made 3-pointers coming off-ball, he should be able to seamlessly slide into a new complementary role in Boston. If the Mavericks don’t try to lock him up for the playoff push in Disney, Danny Ainge needs to try to bring in this shooter to add some firepower to the rotation.
With every team being forced to limit the size of their traveling party, even the end of the roster becomes much more valuable. Why not fill out the end of the bench with a beloved veteran who can act as a mentor as much as a player?
IT has produced some of his best moments during the playoffs, especially in a Celtics uniform. Thomas is no stranger to adversity, too. Who knows how this young Celtics roster will handle the isolation or playing through racial protests, but having a leader like Isaiah certainly wouldn’t hurt the cause.
IT is a mature player who will buy into his role of impacting the team more off the court than on the court down in Orlando. His ability to run an offense would provide Brad Stevens another option off the bench when the regular reserves aren’t producing. IT has the confidence and ability to take over stretches of a game, yet the maturity and resilience to embrace his role as a leader and help guide this young team through whatever lies ahead.