The Celtics have been pretty active over the last couple days. With the trade of Avery Bradley for Marcus Morris, and yesterday with the signing of Aron Baynes, the C’s are trying to address all areas of need after landing Gordon Hayward.
Morris gives them depth at the 3/4, which is something they lost when Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk walked. He isn’t much of a rebounder, but he put up 14 points a game last year in Detroit, which is something Johnson & Olynyk couldn’t do. His scoring production is going to be pretty valuable off the bench or at the starting 4 slot next year.
Aron Baynes will provide them with solid defensive rebounding and a defensive presence down low. His numbers aren’t too great, but I think there are a lot of reasons as to why that’s the case. 1: He only played about 15 minutes per game last season. In those 15 minutes, he averaged 4.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 0.5 BPG with a 1.8+/-. Not sexy numbers at all, but his per 36 averages are where I looked to see what this guy could potentially bring to the table. His per 36 averages are 11.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 1.2 BPG with a 4.2 +/-. 2: He was playing beside the NBA’s second-leading rebounder in Andre Drummond. Odds are he took away some opportunities from Baynes, which won’t be the case here. Baynes will probably come in as the best rebounder on this team.
So what might the final roster look like to start next season? Here is my projection:
After signing Baynes, the C’s pretty much have no cap space left to sign free agents unless it’s on a veteran’s minimum deal. I don’t know who they could bring in on that kind of contract who would make the roster over any of these guys on the bench. I would say Gerald Green, but the need isn’t really there anymore. After watching summer league I just have a feeling guys like Nader, Zizic, and Ojeleye have all done enough to earn spots on the roster next year. He isn’t playing this summer, but I picked Yabusele based on speculation that the Celtics’ plan all along has been to have him on the roster next season. I have Demetrius Jackson rounding out the roster based on the fact that he was here last year, and he has performed well enough in the summer league to keep that roster spot. I’m sure my projection is going to be off a bit, but I can definitely say the roster is going to look WAY different compared to last season.
Update: 7/10/17 2:43 PM
Somebody in the comment section reminded me about Daniel Theis, who I completely forgot about. The Celtics signed him before signing Gordon Hayward. He’ll be on the team next year, meaning either Demetrius Jackson, Abdel Nader, or Semi Ojeleye might not make it.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)