Boston Celtics

Celtics free agent primer: Power forwards

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Celtics free agent primer: Power forwards

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

The Boston Celtics were one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA a year ago, so it stands to reason that getting some help on the boards is a major priority this offseason. While this free agency class isn't rife with power forward studs, there are some that could fit in nicely with the Celtics as they try and put together a roster looking to make a run at Banner 18.

Here are some names to keep an eye on heading into free agency.

Top available power forwards (team they played with last season): Glen Davis (Boston); Brian Scalabrine (Chicago); Kenyon Martin (Denver); Chris Wilcox (Detroit); Louis Amudson (Golden State); Vladimir Radmonovic (Golden State); Chuck Hayes (Houston); Jeff Foster (Indiana); Craig Smith (LAClippers); Leon Powe (Memphis); Kris Humphries (New Jersey); Carl Landry (New Orleans); Reggie Evans (Toronto); Yi Jianlian (Washington)
Best of the bunch: Davis, Landry, Martin, Humphries and Hayes.

Best fits for the C's: Davis, Landry or Evans.

Why Davis? He knows the Celtics way of doing things better than anyone other free agent power forward. And you have to believe that there's a part of him that doesn't want to go out the way he did in the playoffs. As we've seen in his time in Boston, a focused, ready-to-play Glen Davis can be an impact player on so many levels. The issues become whether Davis' salary demands will be too high for the Celtics' liking, and whether he'll be comfortable with coming off the bench for the C's for at least another season behind Kevin Garnett. He has shown at times to want his role to be expanded even more so than it currently stands.
Why Landry? One of the more underrated players in the NBA, Landry is one of the best at getting you buckets off the bench. Despite starting just 20 percent of the games in his career, the four-year veteran is a 12.1 points per game scorer who shoots a sweltering 54.1 percent from the field. Because of his talent and experience level, the Celtics will have plenty of competition in trying to woo Landry. The biggest concern with Landry is his defense. His man-to-man isn't too shabby, but it's too soon to tell how he would fare in Boston's help-side defensive schemes.
Why Evans? The Celtics may find taller, more athletic big men than Evans, but they would be hard-pressed to find one who works any harder. His game is extremely limited, but his ability to score around the basket, keep loose balls alive all game long, would stand out on a Celtics team like this while coming off the bench. The C's have plenty of players who fall into the Jack-of-all-trades category. Versatility is important, but having players who provide a certain skillset - like Evans' rebounding, for example - is equally valuable to a team's quest at winning a championship.

Others deserving strong consideration: Martin, Humphries, Hayes, Wilcox and Amundson.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

No longer the little team that could, Celtics may need time to jell

No longer the little team that could, Celtics may need time to jell

Fireworks have been ablaze in the NBA all summer long, with the latest electrifying salvo being tossed by the Boston Celtics in trading for Kyrie Irving from Cleveland in exchange for a package of playerscentered around Isaiah Thomas and a first-round pick centered around Isaiah Thomas. Without question the Celtics were among the biggest winners this offseason as they went about transforming their roster significantly despite having the best record in the East while advancing to the conference finals. But good wasn’t good enough, a similar mantra by a number of teams in the NBA. We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin!

BOSTON – Expectations for the Celtics this season are the highest they've been in the Brad Stevens Era.
 
The past couple of years, Stevens’ crew was seen as a scrappy bunch.
 
That all changed Tuesday night when the Celtics pulled off a blockbuster trade in acquiring Kyrie Irving from Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

MORE ON THE KYRIE IRVING BLOCKBUSTER:

 
Acquiring the four-time All-Star would have made this offseason one of the best ever for the Celtics. But prior to landing the 25-year-old point guard, Boston was able to sign Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $127.8 million contract after he spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Utah Jazz.
 
The new guys join a Celtics team that returns just four starters, a group led by Al Horford, who stands as the lone returning starter from last season’s squad which finished with the best record in the East (53-29) while advancing to the Eastern Conference finals before losing in five games to Cleveland.
 
Adding a pair of All-Stars to the mix will certainly benefit the Celtics for this upcoming season. But for their continued growth, they will also need to get more from their youngsters.
 
Second-year forward Jaylen Brown had a strong offseason and is poised to build off of a rookie season in which he was named to the All-Rookie second team. Boston will also look to get quality play from rookie Jayson Tatum who was selected by Boston with the third overall pick in the NBA draft.  
 
For Boston, the biggest concern has to be chemistry.
 
There’s no question there’s more talent on this roster from top to bottom.
 
But with this being the first go-around for most of the players, it remains to be seen just how long it will take for all of the core players to get on the same page and find success.
 
That challenge won’t be easy, especially with the Celtics opening with seven of their first 11 games on the road.

Even with all the new faces and a challenging schedule out the gates, that won’t diminish the heightened level of expectations for a team that will surely have a bull’s-eye on its back all season for a journey that should result in yet another deep playoff run.
 
Key free agent/trade additions: Kyrie Irving (from Cleveland); Gordon Hayward (from Utah); Aron Baynes (from Detroit); Marcus Morris (from Detroit).
 
Key losses:
Avery Bradley (traded to Detroit); Amir Johnson (Philadelphia); Jonas Jerebko (Utah).
 
Rookies of note:
Jayson Tatum; Semi Ojeleye.
 
Expectations:
60-22 (First in the Atlantic Division, first in the East)

CSNNE SCHEDULE

BST PODCAST: What grade would you give the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

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BST PODCAST: What grade would you give the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

0:41 - What grade would you give the Celtics for their trade for Kyrie Irving? Michael Holley, Kayce Smith, Tom Curran, break it down and give their grades.

4:32 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakley discuss how Kyrie Irving will fit in the Celtics system and how Brad Stevens will handle the roster with new egos.

8:50 - We take a look back at the Pierce and Garnett trade to the Nets that landed the Celtics multiple 1st round picks. Are you pleased with how the Celtics used those picks? Is Danny Ainge a Hall of Fame executive? Michael Holley, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Tom Giles discuss.

14:30 - Our BST crew talk about the Red Sox getting the win over the Indians, Eduardo Nunez being hit intentionally by Corey Kluber, and if Chris Sale will retaliate.