CHICAGO — The Celtics need a rim-protecting big man in the worst way.
Finding one is another matter entirely.
Even with such a glaring hole in their lineup, there are still areas - lots of areas - that need solidifying.
A talented big man (paging Joel Embiid) in next month's draft would be great, but Boston is also approaching the draft with the mindset of at least attempting to add a high-impact scorer on the perimeter which is why 6-foot-7 swingman P.J. Hairston who played at North Carolina and later for the D-League's Texas Legends, will be in town the first week of June for a workout, as well as N.C. State's T.J. Warren.
Hairston said when he interviewed with the Celtics earlier this week, "they told me they need a shooter."
For the Texas Legends, Hairston averaged 21.8 points while appearing in 26 games this past season
He joined the Legends after being kicked off the team at UNC following a rental car scandal.
Not surprisingly, it was on the minds of every team Hairston spoke with this week.
"Every interview, I'm expecting at least two or three questions of, 'what happened at UNC?' or 'how did you learn from the situation?" Hairston said. "Or, 'how did you handle it?' It's just a variety of questions, but it's the same questions."
While he clearly gets tired of answering it, he understands that it's part of his narrative.
"It's the past," Hairston said. "It's no reason to be mad about it now. I'm here. I'm in this position. I can't let what happened then, affect me."
T.J. Warren doesn't have those same type of questions surrounding him, but there are some concerns about his game as well.
The fact that he more than doubled his scoring average as a sophomore to 24.9 points per game last season speaks to how impactful he can be scoring the ball. But at 6-8, he'll have to play the small forward position in the pros after having played more of a power forward role in college.
Warren knows he'll have to adjust his game in a variety of ways in order to be successful in the NBA.
But when you break down Warren's game, his strengths - scoring - make him, much like Hairston, someone the Celtics will have to think about long and hard if they're on the board when it comes time for Boston to make its second, first-round pick which will be No. 17 overall.
If the Celtics do select Warren, he said he'll approach games to be, "an all-around scorer as well as defending, rebounding, doing all the little stuff to make it hard for the coach to take me out. I'm willing to buy into the system. That's my mindset; just looking forward to what's happening next."