Al Horford is aging and Robert Williams has struggled to stay healthy throughout the season, so there’s reason the Boston Celtics could use an additional big to fill their center rotation ahead of the season. next prize.
Sure, Daniel Theis is a viable big man when properly paired, but he’s clearly not the central model that Ime Udoka wants to build rotation on his bench. Luckily, while this upcoming free agent class doesn’t have a lot of star talent, it does boast influential players across multiple slots.
According to NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg, Isaiah Hartenstein, who is now an unrestricted free agent, could be a viable option to fill the Celtics big man rotation.
“Hartenstein is not a household name, but don’t fall asleep with the 7-foot tall man, who is going through a career season where he has developed an impressive 3-pointer (14 for 30 from outside). arc). Hartenstein is a very good supporter of his size and could ease the burden on Robert Williams and Al Horford on the front lines if the C side sees him as an upgrade over Daniel Theis,” Forsberg wrote in June 25th.
Hartenstein has been impressive for the Los Angeles Clippers this season, making 68 regular season appearances for them, averaging 17.9 minutes per game when coming off the bench.
How would Hartenstein fit in in Boston
At 7 feet tall, Hartenstein will bring some legitimacy to the Celtics bench, so will provide some extra rim protection when Williams is off the floor, something the team sometimes does. struggled throughout the post-season.
The 24-year-old is also a solid checker who uses his size to help free-ball handlers in the outer ring, and with Udoka’s versatile offensive screening system, Hartenstein can fit right into the game plan.
Most importantly, though, the Oregon-born is a versatile goalscorer, converting from 77% of his effort at the belt, 52% of his looks from the floating range and 32% from the range. micro-trimming – the kind of scoring ability that would work wonders for Boston’s distance, and allow slashers like Jaylen Brown to have more room to work when cutting from the wing.
Hartenstein may not be the perfect support for Williams, due to not being a genuine belt runner, but there is a high chance that he will fit Udoka’s attack system better than Theis. and that alone, will ensure his presence is seen as an upgrade to the bench unit.
Theis .’s dilemma
Daniel Theis has three years left on his current contract, with the final year being a team option. However, the veteran centre-back will earn an average annual salary of $8.9 million over the next few seasons and that could be a problem for the Celtics should they decide they need to upgrade their position. he.
Theis was acquired by Brad Stevens on trade deadline day and while he blends in seamlessly with his former teammates during the regular season, his defensive flaws ensure he rarely causes problems. affect the floor during the knockout round.
However, should the Celtics decide to upgrade the central location, they will need to find a new home for Theis, and given Boston’s perceived unwillingness to part with any additional properties, it may be difficult for them to find. see interested parties.
As such, we should not expect too much from the Celtics about bringing in another big man, unless they feel confident in continuing from Theis before the new season starts. Boston has limited roster slots, and it’s unlikely they’ll be satisfied with boosting their center rotation as they head into the new season.
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