For all the talk of the Boston Celtics offering the house for players like Gordon Hayward, Paul George or Jimmy Butler– Danny Ainge seems to have forgotten one thing. The Celtics need a real Power Forward. Jae Crowder fits the Celtics system, so why mess with that in terms of a trade for another Small Forward? What needs to happen is Ainge must make a play for one of the good PF’s on the market. Forget making a trade as you have to give up assets– go for the fences and offer a player a 1-2-year deal.
Getting a PF changes the approach the Celtics can take if and when they meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs next season. Al Horford is good but he cannot continue to hold down the post alone. The Celtics need a player that can either stretch the floor or be a complete beast on the boards and change the tide with his shot-blocking. There are a few good PF’s still on the market.
Here are 5 Power Forwards the Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge should consider.
Paul Millsap- Atlanta Hawks
Pairing Millsap with Al Horford would give the Celtics the post tandem they crave. Apart they are good but together they are a force to be reckoned with. Millsap averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds in 34 minutes of action last season. The PF rotation for the Celtics got so bad that Gerald Green had to start games in the playoffs. The Celtis will have to pay for the services of Millsap but the reward may be bigger than any contract.
Nikola Mirotic- Chicago Bulls
Signing Mirotic depends on the direct the Celtics wish to go in. Mirotic is a floor spacer who can knock down the open shot. Millsap has range but not like Mirotic. Last season for the Chicago Bulls was sort of a down year with the addition of Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade as he averaged 10 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes of action. He has the skills to be an 18/10 guy– he just needs the opportunity to do so. With Mirotic and Horford on the blocks, it will allow Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley room to attack the rim.
Serge Ibaka- Toronto Raptors
Ibaka is EXACTLY what the Celtics need. A PF who thrives on defense and inside scoring. Since Horford loves to play perimeter ball it will allow Ibaka the freedom to have the paint to himself and as we know– that’s his specialty. Ibaka has tried to work on his three-point shot but the essence of his game is still to pound the ball inside. Ibaka averaged 15 points 7 rebounds and almost 2 blocks per game.
Pau Gasol- San Antonio Spurs
This is a move that may rub Celtics fans the wrong way but you must have an open mind. Gasol played like crap with the Spurs. Don’t know if age has caught up with him or he just wasn’t comfortable with the scheme and his place in the rotation. But for a player to go from 17 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks per game in 2015 to 12 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block in 2016 something had to be wrong. It wasn’t his age– it was the minutes decrease. Gasol is still a savy player and the Celtics would be wise to consider him. Talk about having a vet on the roster. Gasol has 2 rings to go with his resume.
Zach Randolph- Memphis Grizzlies
Randolph is in the same boat with Gasol. If the Celtics are looking for a veteran presence with a one-year deal then Randolph is another choice. His play has taken a hit over the last 2 seasons as he’s been reduced to a bench role but Randolph can still post numbers with the best of them. In 2016, Randolph averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds in only 5 starts in 24 minutes of action. Randolph is a post banger who loves to mix it up with the other bigs.
Danny Ainge has his work cut out for him this offseason