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Celtics Bringing Back Chris Wilcox For Next Season

Danny Ainge sure was serious about wanting to bring back most of the gang together for next season. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, was first to report this afternoon (with Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston confirming) that the forward/center will return to Boston this season.

CH Analysis: Wilcox was released after 28 games played last year due to his heart ailment and is currently rehabbing and starting to resume basketball activities after undergoing surgery. Make no mistake though, this move is probably the best the C’s could do again this year in filling the front line with capable contributors with the limited resources they have.

Unless Wilcox signed for the bi-annual exception at just over two million dollars, (terms have not been released,) it’s probable Chris signed for the veteran’s minimum which is a steal considering the big man is coming off a season-high in FG percentage at 59.8 percent.

Perhaps even more importantly, Wilcox is an above-average rebounder on both ends of the floor, an area that has been well-documented as a weakness in this team. With Greg Stiemsma likely headed to Minnesota, Wilcox will have plenty of opportunities as one of the first big men off the bench for Boston, and potentially as a starter if Doc Rivers decides to slide Kevin Garnett back to power forward at all this year, which remains to be seen.

Either way, Wilcox will get plenty of opportunities to build up his value and prove himself as healthy yet again before heading into free agency next year, while the Celtics get a experienced big man at a below-market rate. Wilcox had a slow start last season, but really was coming on strong in February before he was sidelined with the heart condition, as he built up a nice connection with Rajon Rondo on the offensive end. I was hopeful Danny Ainge will be able to bring back to former Terrapin at short money and that appears to be the case. Next season may perhaps be the year Wilcox sees the postseason for the first time as well after a nine-year draught.

Here’s a quick look at what the C’s depth chart looks like as of now:

PG: Rondo, Moore, (if not traded/cut), OPEN (likely Keyon Dooling)
SG: Bradley, Terry, OPEN (candidates: Lee, Raja Bell, Pietrus)
SF: Pierce, Green, Kris Joseph (unguaranteed)
PF: Bass, Sullinger, Johnson
C: Garnett, Wilcox, Melo

Barring a trade, the chance Sean Williams had of making this roster just took a big-time hit with the Wilcox signing.

In other news, Chris also follows CelticsHub on Twitter and re-tweeted our welcome back to him, another sign the big man is a cool cat. Here’s hoping he continues to make a speedy recovery from his heart ailment.

celticshubcelticshub ?@CelticsHub

Great news that the Celtics are reportedly bringing back@ChrisWilcox44 He will be a big help again on the front line this year.

Retweeted by Chris Wilcox
  • High Rollers

    Alright! Welcome back, Chris!

  • Phil

    Very good news, there aren't many athletic bigs who can rebound out there for cheap, and we got one with a year in the system and one who was showing good chemistry with Rondo. BAE or vet minimum doesn't really matter to me, its a good deal either way.

    Its obviously unclear how he'll play coming back off of the serious health scare, but if he can reach the level he was at in February, this is a steal.

  • zach

    great news!! So important to this particular team to have continuity – their sucess so so predicated on team offense or defense I love the fact that they are bringing back the role players. Wilcox provides some bounce and size!

  • zach

    In looking at the depth chart I think it would be nice to have one more guy at the 4 or 5 spot vs a 6th guard, especially since most of our backup guards can play the 1 or 2 and Rondo will play big minutes

  • emg

    And Wilcox can run. Recall that at the end, Doc and Rondo figured out that if Wilcox simply sprinted full out that Rondo could lob it to him for the dunk. They did that with great efficiency.

  • Zee

    Welcome back, Chris!

  • Nate

    I am salivating at the thought of a line up of rondo Bradley green bass and wilcox
    Pure speed at all positions to run a beautiful break
    Celts are rocking!!!!!

    • skeeds

      Oh yes please, let's FINALLY have some fastball in Boston!

    • GowGow

      Wow that actually looks like a starting line up for any decent team.

  • ElRoz

    Yes! Wilcox would be great for Boston. The guy can play Center and PF and he is a good finisher and rebounder. If I had my choice between Wilcox and Stiemsma, I'd take Wilcox no problem.

    So if they don't sign another center type, I assume KG will play center most of his time on the court? If Wilcox starts and KG is PF, then who back-up Wilcox?

    Finally, I keep seeing Pietrus as a SF, not as a SG. He is listed as a SF and he might not be as fast as you'd want from a SG.

    With Moore and Terry, there are two guys that can both handle the ball and can both shoot.

  • Tommie

    Yes! Very happy about this. And I agree with Nate that seeing Rondo running the court with Green and Wilcox on either side would be wonderful to see, especially with those guys coming back after serious heart problems.

  • ElRoz

    If the team is not able to get another center (so that KG can play PF most of his time), may I suggest Ryan Hollins again? Energetic, young, strong?

    On the other hand, with Bass being there, what sort of minutes will KG have at PF? Bass cannot play center – he is a PF. Period. But KG can play PF and Center, so he will probably have to play some Center.
    But I do like Ryan Hollins' energy and enthusiasm.

    • Alex

      Hollins is likely to sign with the Clippers

      they have interest in him and LA is his hometown

    • GowGow

      It's very intriguing. Doc will have lots of option to try, and that's wonderful.

  • skeeds

    nice nice nice!!! I'm optimistic about our rookies having some impact this season, so the KG-Wilcox-Melo center line sounds great to me. I like Wilcox tremendously. The guy enjoys running the floor and slamming down dunks. The last center we had that could run with Rondo and catch alley-oops was NO ONE. And he's a hard nosed hustler.

    If we bring back Dooling and somehow land Lee or Raja Bell, we're looking at the deepest roster we've had since 2007. I've always thought that this kind of well balanced, 12 man deep roster is the way for this team to evolve, especially around an orchestrator like Rondo.

  • I_Love_Green

    Welcome back!

    Danny has done a solid job this off season. Can't wait to see what our final roster looks like, I'm excited.

    • Lantrell Walker

      DA's been a maestro this off-season. Everything from drafting Sullinger and Melo up to now has been nothing short of great, now he's even in the process of getting JET to Boston via sign-and-trade from Dallas to free up the MLE. This team's already stacked, but if this S&T for Terry is worked out and DA spends the MLE to sign Courtney Lee, this will be one of the most complete and battle ready teams in the NBA.


  • OKCeltic

    Where did you hear about the S&T for Terry? That would be incredible.

  • LACelticFan

    I believe Doc will employ a three headed Center. Wilcox-Sully-Garnett, and Garnett-Bass-Johnson at PF. Remember that there will be games where Doc and Danny beg KG not to play, to rest those muscles. I am sure there are least 5 teams that we shouldn't need the bigman to play. One being Toronto. Those games can get Melo-Johnson and Sully especially more minutes. But I am loving the infusion of youth, now Doc has to play them, yeah the games we should win, they should play minutes.
    Now I only see a hole at 2nd and 3rd string SG assuming Terry will play point. If he doesn't then we really should bring back Moore/Dooling. And lets keep Pietrus in mind if we can't swing the deal for Lee, but I don't want Johnson to leave in a S&T. The guy is much like Wilcox around the rim.

  • smalltownID

    I''m surprised how high everyone is on Dooling. Take away 2 games in the post season and he was abysmal for this team. Glad to see the 2 games he showed up were clutch moments in the post season(unlike Bass) but I hope he is the last piece behind Pietrus or Lee if at all. Huge step down from Delonte 2 years ago and we payed him more than twice as much. Shoot, you could argue Quis was almost as productive as Dooling.

    • The Cardinal

      I agree 100%. While his play was spirited, his ball handling skills at backup PG were almost non-existent.

  • GreenM&M

    Great value on this signing! I can't believe he couldn't get more $$$, especially considering the money that other guys are getting. Maybe its because of the injuries?

    In any case, great move!

  • Chief

    Am really liking the team Danny’s building here, welcome back Wilcox.

  • bigblack1954

    Casper-Alright! Welcome back, Chris! Now all we need is Danny to get C.LEE They will have a swingman who can play in and out and also play good defenseThey need to get rid of K. Dooly and sign D. Christmas. He can also shoot 3's as well as play in and out and also play good defense.