BOSTON (CBS) — Rebounding and rim protection are among the Celtics’ biggest needs ahead of the 2017-18 season. It appears that the team will look to address that in free agency.

Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweeted on Wednesday that the Celtics are “showing interest in several free-agent rim protectors.” They’re also looking at potential moves to clear cap space, which has led to those sign-and-trade rumors involving Jae Crowder and Gordon Hayward.

The unrestricted free agency market is thin at center, especially among players who could make an impact for the Celtics around the rim on the defensive end. Dewayne Dedmon, a 27-year-old 7-footer who averaged 6.5 rebounds in just 17.5 minutes per game for the Spurs last season, could be an option. Other available UFAs who could contribute in the rebounding and rim protection department are Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, Marreese Speights, and Jordan Hill.

If the Celtics want to take a stab at sending an offer sheet to a restricted free agent, they could look at the Mavericks’ Nerlens Noel, the Suns’ Alex Len, or the Nuggets’ Mason Plumlee.

The Celtics were tied for 26th in the NBA in defensive rebounds per game last season. They also allowed the fifth-most offensive rebounds in the league and finished 27th in rebound differential per game with minus-2.5.


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