BOSTON (CBS) — There’s quite a bit of redundancy on the Boston Celtics roster, with Danny Ainge building a vast collection of guards and forwards for 2015.
The Celtics already had a healthy stable of guards last season, and Ainge added to it by drafting Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter in the first-round last month. But Boston now has a logjam of power forwards as well with the offseason acquisitions of Amir Johnson and David Lee added to 2014 holdovers Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller.READ MORE: Police Searching Woods In Abington For Missing 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis
There is still plenty of time left until training camp in October, so there’s a chance Ainge could swing a deal to relieve some of the congestion on the depth chart. But Tom Westerholm of Celtics Hub joined Rick Keefe (filling in for Adam Jones) on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Monday night, and said Ainge may wait and see what he has before making any moves.
“This isn’t a team that’s going to contend, and as far as having too many guys, you’re getting a feel for who you want to keep around anyways,” he said. “It’s who you want to keep around, who you might be able to move at the deadline and who has more value for another team? If someone offers something good for one of those guys before the season Ainge will make the moves, but I don’t think they’re in a big hurry.”
You can add second-round pick Jordan Mickey to the mix in Boston’s frontcourt too, with the Celtics and the rookie agreeing to a four-year contract on Monday. There were rumors Mickey wanted to become a restricted free agent after next season, but locking up the shot-blocker extraordinaire on a multi-year deal could prove to be a worthy gamble for the Celtics.
“The reason he was looking to be a free agent sooner is he knows how valuable he could look after this season playing for the Celtics. He’s very springy and long, which is something the Celtics desperately needed,” said Westerholm. “There’s a good chance he gets some decent minutes and can showcase what he can do, which is why the Celtics locked him up. They may have had to pay more if he was a restricted free agent after this season.”READ MORE: 'Plan For Alternatives': Toys May Be In Short Supply This Holiday Season
As for that other logjam, of all the guards on Boston’s roster no one is more intriguing than James Young at the moment. Throughout the offseason we’ve heard that he’s bulked up and ready to make an impact in his second season in the league, after spending most of his rookie campaign with the Maine Red Claws in the Development League.
Young closed the Celtics recent Summer League slate on a high note, scoring 16 points and pulling down nine rebounds in Boston’s loss to the Spurs on Saturday night, but overall had a rough five-game stretch. He averaged just 9.4 points on 27 percent shooting, which dipped to 24 percent from beyond the arc. This has many concerned about the development of the 19-year-old.
Westorholm thinks more minutes in the NBA will give Young a better grasp of what he needs to do at the next level in order to succeed.
“He’s really young still; younger than a lot of the rookie in this year’s class. He’s still trying to get his feet and understand what he needs to do at this level. The coaching staff mentioned his attention to detail at summer league, which is something he didn’t have to have in college and high school but does in the pros. That’s something you hope he develops as he realizes the NBA is a completely different animal,” he said. “Hopefully he gets more minutes in the NBA and more of a chance to discover these things he needs to discover about the league, as opposed to playing in the D-League. That’s why I think he’ll get more minutes with the Celtics rather than in Maine.”
Westerholm also talks about expectations for Jared Sullinger, the development of first-round picks Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter, and Boston’s chances in the Eastern Conference. Listen below:MORE NEWS: Lauren Astley's Father Works With Wayland Students To Raise Awareness About Teen Dating Violence