With free agency just a few days away, I thought I’d put out a few articles talking about the players who I believe the Boston Celtics can look to add to their roster next season. With roughly $34M in cap space, the Celtics can make a few big moves this offseason. Whether it’s giving most of that money to one player, splitting it up, or waiting until next offseason, the Celtics have options. Here I’ll talk about one player who I think the Celtics can go after: Nikola Vucevic.
It’s no surprise that the Celtics are in need of a big man. With Al Horford most likely leaving the Celtics at the start of free agency, the team is left with Robert Williams as the team’s only true center. As much as I love me some Robert Williams playing time, he can’t be the starting center on this team going forward. As great as signing a star point guard sounds, the Celtics are in bigger need of a big man.
That’s where Nikola Vucevic comes in. Both Vucevic and Horford have similar play styles, which is why Vucevic can thrive in Boston. As an All-Star last season, Vucevic averaged nearly 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, while shooting 52% from the field and 36% from three. He’s not the greatest defender in the world, but he averaged over a steal and a block per game last season.
Adding Nikola’s playmaking skills and ability to stretch the floor can be crucial for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s development. Both Tatum and Brown can benefit more from a playmaking center who can get them open shots like Horford would more than adding another high-scoring guard. Last season, there were only six centers who averaged over three assists and shot more than two three-pointers a game. One of those centers was Nikola Vucevic.
Signing Nikola Vucevic wouldn’t be cheap, and it might not be the signing that takes us to that next level, but he wouldn’t be a bad fit or option on this team. If the Celtics miss out on the big-named free agents like Kemba Walker or D’Angelo Russell, or miss out on trading for big men like Clint Capela or Steven Adams, signing Vucevic wouldn’t be the worst option in the world.
He wouldn’t be the name fans are hoping to see that the Celtics sign in free agency, but it’d keep the team competitive and fill one of the major holes Al Horford left behind. Building around the Jays was always the plan, right? Well by signing Vucevic, the Celtics are still doing just that. Adding another 20 PPG scoring center who can spread the floor and pass the ball can do wonders for Tatum and Brown.
It wouldn’t be the greatest signing in the world, but it wouldn’t be the worst, either. I’m sure Danny Ainge will weigh his options once free agency begins, and signing Nikola Vucevic will definitely be one that he considers.
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