BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics need a big man, and apparently they’re close to signing one.
“We’re close with a couple of free agents that we’ve looked at, but we’ll see,” Doc Rivers told the Boston Herald Monday morning in Atlanta.
The Celtics are a little short on size when it comes to their front court. Injuries to Chris Wilcox and Jermaine O’Neal have forced Kevin Garnett to take over the center duties with Brandon Bass sliding into the starting power forward spot. After that, it’s only rookies Greg Stiemsma and JaJuan Johnson on the C’s depth chart.
With such little depth, the Celtics have been forced to go with smaller lineups, leading to a huge rebounding advantage for opponents. Already at the bottom of the league in rebounding, the Celtics have been out-boarded 45-28 and 46-27 in their last two loses to the Kings and Nuggets, respectively.
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So who could the Celtics have knocking on their door, hoping to come in and help the team clean up the glass a little bit more? That remains the bigger question.
Ronny Turiaf was bought out by Denver after being acquired in a trade deadline deal. While there has been interest from Boston, the six-year veteran has to clear waivers, and will likely listen to any and all offers before deciding. Chris Kaman is still in New Orleans, awaiting a possible buyout from the league-owned Hornets.
While there is not much out there by way of big men, the Celtics could entertain bringing back Chris Johnson, who played four games with Boston after they traded Kendrick Perkins last season. Johnson last played for the Blazers, but at least has some familiarity with Doc Rivers’ system.
No, Johnson would not be a big splash by any imagination. But at this point, until Kaman might become available, Johnson might be all that’s out there.