Celtics Question of the Day: What free agent would you want on C's?

891117.jpg

Celtics Question of the Day: What free agent would you want on C's?

If you happen to run into Danny Ainge and he's sporting an ear-to-ear grin, it might have something to do with the Boston Celtics roster he has assembled heading into the 2012-2013 season.

He brought back most of his core players and added both youth (Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo) and young veterans (Courtney Lee, Jeff Green) to the mix that should make for a more versatile Celtics squad this season.

On Thursday, CSNNE.com learned that the C's were also adding former No. 2 overall pick Darko Milicic to the roster next week, bolstering what's shaping into one of the league's deepest frontcourts.

No matter how much talent Ainge assembles or how many wins the C's tally, he will always keep an eye out for adding players that he believes will make the Celtics even better.

Even though salary cap restrictions have essentially tied his hands with the current roster heading into training camp, you can bet Ainge has a wish list of players he wouldn't mind scooping up.

What about you, Celtics Nation?

Who would you like to see donning a C's uniform at some point this season that's currently alone and unattached to any teams?

Considering the Celtics have had so many rebounding issues in recent years, you can't have a list like this and not include Kenyon Martin.

At 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, Martin is arguably the best front court player unsigned during this offseason.

It wasn't that long ago that a case could be made for Martin ranking among the NBA's elite power forwards. However, knee injuries have taken away much of his explosiveness.

For a player who played as much above the rim as he did, having no hops equates to no hope of landing the big money contract Martin is apparently holding out for now.

The C's could definitely benefit from having a player with Martin's talent. But you have to wonder if he's ready to accept the kind of role he would be asked to play in Boston, one that would involve him seeing spot duty behind a pretty deep frontcourt that includes Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass starting, with Jared Sullinger, Chris Wilcox and Fab Melo or Jason Collins possibly as the team's fifth big man.

If the Celtics decided they needed to add another shooter, one name to keep an eye on is Michael Redd.

Never known for his athleticism, multiple knee injuries have had no impact on what Redd has been able to do since he came into the NBA and that's shoot the ball. He is a veteran who is clearly wanting to be part of a winning franchise as he nears the end of his playing career. He would only be a player Boston would consider if one of the current perimeter players went down with an injury that would keep them sidelined for a significant amount of time. And even in that instance, his struggles defensively might be enough for Boston to look elsewhere.

Although Boston seems pretty stacked on the perimeter, they still don't have an athletic, perimeter defensive specialist-type. Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley will do a nice job, but the C's have had success of late in part because they could trot out a 6-foot-5 or taller defender like James Posey, Tony Allen or at times last season, Mickael Pietrus.

Pietrus is still available, although the C's interest in him was luke warm at best. Another athletic wing with great promise as a defender is Terrence Williams. However, the fact that he has been passed over by team after team despite what one NBA scout said was, "off the charts, ridiculous athleticism," certainly raises some concerns.

But hey, this is just a wish list, right?

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
 
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
 
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
 
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
 
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
 
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
 
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
 
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
 
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
 
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
 
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
 
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
 
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
 
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
 
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
 
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
 
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
 
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
 
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
 
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.