The Boston Celtics are in need of another big man and are gearing up to sign veteran center Jason Collins to a one-year, veteran-minimum deal to replace Greg Stiemsma who is likely headed to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
While Stiemsma is a restricted free agent, it appears Boston will be unable to match Minnesota's offer due to salary cap limitations. In Collins they acquire a seven-footer weighing in at over 255 pounds.
The 11-year NBA veteran is not known for his offense averaging just 3.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game but is a defensive-minded big who can add quality minutes off the bench in their frontcourt rotation. He is not much of a shot-blocker or rebound specialist but has the ability to defend the pick-and-roll. At just $854,389 for the year, there is certainly value in this pickup allowing the young rookie Fab Melo to develop at his own pace.
As a fan of the Celtics I am not overly excited by this pickup, as Collins is not the flashiest of free agents on the market. What it does provide is much needed depth at the position knowing Stiemsma will not be returning.
Overall I have been impressed with how the offseason has played out. In drafting Jered Sullinger, Melo, and Kris Joseph the team landed young talent, which should begin to contribute in the near future. Retaining Kevin Garnett was a smart move in my opinion and trading for Courtney Lee to replace Ray Allen was a very smart move. The younger Lee will only continue to improve while Allen is certainly in the twilight of his career.
It is hard to anticipate any further moves by Danny Ainge but who knows what else may happen. With each passing day it gets easier to feel confident in the roster and the team moving forward to next season. Who would have ever thought Celtics basketball would get even more exciting when adding a player like Collins? 2012-13 could be the year Boston gets its revenge on the Miami Heat.
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