Before the Boston Celtics left Las Vegas in July, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens noted that the team would likely be in the market for more wing depth before the start of training camp.
The Athletic reported on Monday that the Celtics He will practice with forwards TJ Warren and Lamar Stevens this weekwhile HoopsHype mentioned the team It will also host Louis King Forward.
The Celtics currently have two open spots on their 15-man roster and have more flexibility due to non-guaranteed contracts. Boston also has a two-way slot to fill.
Do Warren or Stevens make sense for a roster spot?
A healthy Warren is undoubtedly an attractive option. The soon-to-be 30-year-old turned on the bubble in 2020, but back-to-back stress fractures limited him to 46 regular-season games over the past two seasons. He shot just 32.8 percent from 3-pointers in 42 games last year between Brooklyn and Phoenix.
The Suns thrived on Warren’s limited minutes after acquiring him for last year’s stretch run, and he posted a team-best +14.5 net rating in 197 minutes played. Alas, he played just 81 minutes in six postseason games.
If the Celtics believe it Sam Hauser can play more consistently this season, then they already have a 6-foot-8 offensive wing who was also an analytical darling at the start of last season. Boston should lean more heavily on Hauser in hopes that he doesn’t suffer the slump that caused his playing time at the end of last season.
Lamar Stevens fits what the Celtics were looking for on the wings this season. The 26-year-old striker, who blossomed from a two-way contract, started 25 games for his side. Cavaliers Last year, he gained a reputation as an energy guy who didn’t worry about his stats or his role. Stevens was traded to San Antonio as part of Cleveland Max Strauss Purchased and waived before guaranteeing his contract in July.
The concern with Stevens will be some overlap in skill sets Boston’s offseason signing Usha Brist. Stevens brings defensive versatility to the wing, but doesn’t shoot the 3 very well (28.1% for his career). The way he can elevate a team’s defensive intensity is undeniably attractive, but the Celtics care about shooting the floor.
If Warren is willing to accept a potentially limited role and the team is confident in his health, it might be worth a roll of the dice on a minimum deal. There is no such thing as a lot of shooting in the NBA. If the team simply needs a younger player who won’t whine about playing time and pressure the other wings on the team, Stevens could be a nice player who can fill a bigger role if needed.
What is clear is that the Celtics are not done with their roster. This team lost the second place in the list Justin Champagne waived before his contract was guaranteed.
In July, Brad Stevens indicated that the team would explore options at both the winger and big man positions. Tim signed Blake Griffin during training camp last year to add veteran depth to the bench and he remains on the free agent market this summer.