Is it worth watching the waiver wire for the Celtics?

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Justin Quinn
·5 min read
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There may already be a small army of Boston Celtics fans panicking after seeing the results of the team’s first two preseason games of their 2020-21 campaign, and it’s understandable why given how disorganized and thin the team’s rotations looked in the twin losses.

And while we ought to be open to the idea of seeing what the team has in its young prospects in the early part of the season, there’s a case to be made for trying to squeeze some value out of another team’s roster crunch as opposing rosters make end-of-offseason cuts. But to do that in a way that makes sense is by taking on the contract of a player another team didn’t have the space, money or both to roster, and there may not be a player worth the squeeze in a season the team is hard-capped.

Let’s survey some of the better options to hit the waiver wire in the last week, and see if any might be worth picking up.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - forward - 6-foot-6

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hollis-Jefferson is an NBA player, and will probably get another shot in this league, if not with Boston. He's young (just under 26) and managed to earn close to 20 minutes per game with a legitimate contender last season on the Toronto Raptors. Add in that the Celtics need wing depth, and a move for the Arizona product makes sense; he scored 7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 2019-20, and while he can't hit from deep, would still be an upgrade over several players at the end of Boston's bench.

Dzanan Musa - forward - 6-foot-9

Ashley Landis/USA TODAY Sports

Still very young at 21 years old, Musa may well have untapped upside worth exploring. A bigger wing who is still very raw, the Serbian could one day become a solid rotation player for a team with the space and patience to bring him along. But given he shot just 37.2% from the field and 24.4% from deep while scoring 4.8 points, 2.2 boards and 1.1 assists per game, Musa doesn't really make sense for the Celtics' title aspiration needs.

Frank Kaminsky - center - 7-foot

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Frank the Tank was long coveted by Celtics team president Danny Ainge, but the bloom appears to have fallen off that rose. Kaminsky is a true 7-footer who can shoot the rock from deep a bit (34.7% career) and is use to coming off of the bench scoring 9.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 2019-20. That could be useful in a scenario where the team moves on from one of Robert Williams III or Daniel Theis, but that seems like a conversation for February -- not December. There's a world where it makes sense to kick the tires on the Wisconsin product, but the timing doesn't make sense right now.

Alize Johnson - forward - 6-foot-7

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

While his 3-point shooting in 2019-20 might get your attention at 37.5%, he was a reticent shooter from beyond the arc, and did not find much of a way to get on the court with the Indiana Pacers last season. Scoring just 2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, there may well be an NBA player there to be drawn out of the 24-year old. Unfortunately for fans of his potential among Celtics fans, his production isn't even close to enough to have him in the conversation for Boston.

Gerald Green - forward - 6-foot-6

Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Would a third stint for Green in green and white make sense for both sides? The Houston native was able to contribute to a contender for two seasons after leaving the Celtics in 2017, but has also broken a foot and been waived by two teams in a row -- even if one of them reportedly wants to bring him back. Boston would be elated to have a veteran player able to produce near to the 9.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per game Green scored in 2018-19, shooting a solid 35.4% from deep. But is that player still in the former Celtic? This one is too hard to call without medicals.

Conclusions

While there are plenty of intriguing players who hit the waiver market this week, few make sense for the Celtics' specific institutional needs and roster makeup taken together. Johnson and Musa don't fit the production curve demanded by a team that hopes to contend for a title, and Kaminsky, while serviceable, isn't playing a position of need at present. And while a Gerald Green reunion would be ideal on paper, the player he is in the flesh -- and his open desire to rejoin the Rockets -- suggest that signing isn't in the cards. https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1340702021888970752?s=20  

Even Hollis-Jefferson, easily the best fit of the bunch, would need a player cut to join the roster; would it be worth cutting popular-if-underwhelming wing Javonte Green's non-guaranteed contract? While there may indeed be moves around the margins available to improve the team, they all come with a cost. We'll tentatively endorse a Hollis-Jefferson signing, but given the team's intention to see the capabilities of the players it already has on its roster, we're not expecting such a move before the next season starts in earnest. [jwplayer yyMs441t-z6KDnl0B] [lawrence-related id=44591,44584,44581,44567] [listicle id=44587]

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