This week, the CLNS Media “Celtics Lab” podcast had an especially heavy mailbag, and to get to all of your excellent Boston Celtics and NBA questions, we decided to take a handful to an article format to get to more than the hosts Cameron Tabatabaie, Alex Goldberg, and Justin Quinn had time to cover on air given the superabundance of quality submissions we received, many of them focused on the return of Boston big man Robert Williams III.
We picked a trio of non-Timelord questions relevant to a Celtics shooting guard’s marksmanship, a Maine Celtics affiliate player’s prospects, and an inquiry into what teams around the NBA ought to consider Bricking for Vic ™.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into your questions — and our answers.
Celtics Lab 158: Robert Williams III dominates the mailbag ahead of his return https://t.co/J3bNFFvQ9P
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) December 9, 2022
Do you think Derrick White's 3p% is sustainable? (Darren Clark)
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Quinn: I predicted White’s 3-point resurgence on Celtics Lab before the start of the season, so I’d be a liar if I said no. His familiarity with the system and growing confidence in his new role have been a huge help in that regard.
Alex Goldberg: Absolutely! White was a better shooter than the numbers suggested prior to the trade last year (dragged down by a bad spurs team with very little floor spacing) and he has clearly put in some significant work on the speed of his release.
He is also taking better shots (a byproduct of the improved offensive talent on the floor). I think he will dip a little bit below his currently monster numbers but overall I think he continues to be a solid shooter, especially from the corners.
Cameron Tabatabaie: It’s not fully sustainable – right now he’s shooting 42.7%, I think that number will come down a little bit because that’s a huge departure from his career average. That said, White’s probably never been more open in his life playing in this offense.
I think last year he was finding his groove upon joining the Celtics, and his numbers suffered. So, it’s my guess he’ll cool off a little but so long as he gets consistent burn and clean looks he’ll remain a reliable 3-point threat.
Do you believe Luka Samanic will ever play for Boston or be used in a trade?? (Just Jeff)
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
JQ: I think there’s a chance that it happens, but it will require a lot of things going his way. He’s an affiliate player, not a two way, so he can’t be called up in the same way, and can’t be traded by Boston as such. But if a two way player on the team were elevated to a regular roster spot midseason or after 2022-23, it could happen.
AG: I wouldn’t bet on it. Brad Stevens has assembled a roster of dudes that are ready-made for a title run. This roster is stacked with vets and the young guys who play have been developing on the team for at least three years now. Maybe in a couple of years but I strongly doubt it in the near future.
CT: Samanic is only 22, which is still quite young. As such, there’s a chance he grows as a player. If we see him play in Boston, it will be because of a set of injuries at the end of the Celtic bench. But that would also be a chance to showcase Samanic if he’s really got the goods.
What team needs to blow it up the most (General Grant Williams)
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
JQ: For me, it has to be the Brooklyn Nets. If the Los Angeles Lakers controlled their pick, they’d be the team for me, but given it’s owed to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Nets seem to be the least likely team to win a title in win-now mode, and each month that passes, the team seems to find new ways to make their stars worth less.
If Kyrie Irving can re-establish even a modicum of trade value before the deadline, even better — but I’d move Kevin Durant and whatever else can generate draft capital among players older than 24 on that roster.
AG: Give me the Miami Heat. An aging, expensive core that is now clearly a second and maybe even a third-tier team in the East. It’s time for the soft rebuild around Bam Adebayo as the undisputed guy on this team. Butler will still fetch a huge price via trade from a team like the Denver Nuggets or Memphis Grizzlies looking to pull away from the pack in the West.
You can play Duncan Robinson and try to restore his value a bit and then send him and Kyle Lowry out to get some younger, cheaper players with upside and draft capital. A quick one-year mini-tank job followed by a re-engineered team around Tyler Herro, Bam, other pieces, and the ever-present coach of the decade in Erik Spoelstra will have Miami looking much more sustainable going forward.
CT: The Chicago Bulls need to hit the reset button. The club’s best players are older, there are a few young players who could use a minutes boost, and Chicago could stand to refresh its stock of draft assets. I’m not sure how much of a free agency destination the Windy City is, so being proactive about team building feels important.
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