|Options dwindling for the Celtics in their big man seach||03.21.12 at 11:35 pm ET|
The Celtics lost out on Ronny Turiaf when the veteran signed with the Heat. They lost out on J.J. Hickson when the Blazers were awarded the waiver claim. They even lost out on Chris Johnson, when the one-time Celtic was claimed off waivers by the Hornets.
Where does that leave the Celtics? The two names still in circulation are Ryan Hollins and journeyman Josh Powell. Here’s the take on Hollins: He’s 7-feet tall with a decent touch around the basket, but he’s a poor rebounder who lost his spot in the Cavs’ rotation to rookie Tristan Thompson.
Still, Hollins is better than Powell and would serve an immediate need considering the sore foot that Greg Stiemsma is currently playing through. If anything happens to Stiemsma, the Celtics are in major trouble and it could lead to Kevin Garnett playing more minutes than the team would like.
In order to add Hollins — or anyone else for the matter — the Celtics would have to make room on their roster by waiving one of their players. Chris Wilcox is out for the season and will undergo heart surgery later this month and Jermaine O’Neal decided to have wrist surgery and will also miss the rest of the season.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, they wouldn’t be able to re-sign a player they waived for at least a year so if they have any interest in bringing Wilcox back, they’d keep him on the roster.
This Friday is the deadline for players to be bought out/waived and still be eligible for the postseason on another team. As a reminder, players can sign at any time up until the last day of the regular season and still be eligible for the postseason as long as they are not on someone else’s roster by the Friday deadline.
|Celtics’ big man search: J.J. Hickson||03.19.12 at 5:05 pm ET|
It’s not often a team reaches a buyout on a 23-year-old forward who is still on his rookie contract, but that’s what Sacramento has done with J.J. Hickson, per the great Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Rare as that move is, it’s even rarer when the team buys out a player when it traded a player — Omri Casspi — and a first-round pick to acquire him, but that’s the Kings these days.
Would he make sense for the Celtics? Sure, but he comes with major caveats.
First, the good news: Hickson can score. He averaged 14 points and 8.7 rebounds for the Cavs in 2010-11. He has a career PER of 14.4 and did we mention he’s only 23 years old?
Now, the bad news: The Cavs traded him after giving him an extended look and he played only 36 games for the Kings while not doing do much with the time he had. Hickson is shooting 37 percent this season. His turnovers are up, his rebounding is down and he’s not exactly known as a defensive force.
Still, Hickson has talent and if he’s available for next to nothing, then it’s a chance the Celtics should take. He clearly has the most upside of anyone currently on the market and they aren’t looking for a 36-minute a night power forward.
However, in order to sign Hickson two things must happen. First, he has to clear waivers and with his low salary (about $2.3 million) and upside, some team may claim him for all of the above reasons. Second, if he does clear waivers, the C’s would have to clear a roster spot by cutting ties with one of their own players.
As with all available big men, the Celtics will have competition. Unlike some veterans, however, they can offer an obvious role as a backup forward and a chance to be part of an interesting rebuilding project while playing alongside Rajon Rondo.