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Potential Big Man Additions: Celtics Looking At Signing D.J. White, Lou Amundson, Tim Ohlbrecht

With all of the wheeling and dealing of the trade deadline completed, Danny Ainge’s next move is to fortify the rest of the roster with competent big men to help make up for the loss of Jason Collins. While it’s certain they won’t be able to make up for Collins’ solid play on the defensive end with any addition, anyone they bring in will thankfully be better than a step up above Collins on the offensive end of the floor.

With that in mind, let’s get to the rumblings heard so far today on potential additions. The C’s have two open roster spots at the moment, and also a third will be available if they decline to re-sign Terrence Williams after his 10-day deal expires.

We’ll start with Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who reported this morning that the C’s may be on the verge of bringing in former Bobcats big man D.J. White to a 10-day deal.

Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald also added more additional names in his trade deadline column today as on the C’s radar:

Now the Celtics are left to fill out their roster, and the first task is getting a serviceable big man. While agents are certainly pushing their own clients, the C’s are looking at the likes of Jerome Jordan, Tim Ohlbrecht, Shavlik Randolph, Louis Amundson, D.J. White and others.

So which of these players would be the best fit right now for the C’s?

To start, it appears Ainge will be looking to give whoever he decides upon a trial run (a la Terrence Williams), since no names on this list are worth committing an entire season to at this point, given the C’s tricky cap situation. With that said, White appears to be the guy on top of the list for Boston to start and I have to say I like him a lot. Maybe it’s because he tore up the Celtics a few times with hot shooting a couple times in the last two seasons.

White played in China this season, averaging 21.7ppg and shot over 56 percent from the field. He has a good midrange touch (About 41% from outside 16 feet, according to Hoopdata) and is a solid rebounder as well. His defense expectedly leaves a lot to be desired, but for one was a bit surprised he wasn’t signed by anyone in the NBA before this season. Perhaps he wanted to earn a bit more money in China.

The rest of the names on that list from Bulpett are mostly D-Leaguers. Jordan is a legit center who is 7 feet tall but may not be able to bang bodies well enough in the NBA. He was waived by the Rockets this summer after being traded from the Knicks. Amundson was awful for the Wolves this year, leading them to release him, but has been a useful bench spark and offensive rebounder at points in his career.

All in all, not a ton of appealing options, but there’s some talent in there. Now we watch and wait to see who the front office thinks can help the most right now.

  • The Cardinal

    Thanks. That's a great, concise synopsis. Agreed that whomever we sign will be an upgrade offensively over Collins, and let's hope that someone (or someones) can surprise us with decent team defense and good defensive rebounding.

    The trend in bigs has definitely swung to the athletic, somewhat one dimensional guy who does at least one thing pretty well and tries not to hurt the team in other areas. I'm hopeful that the signee's athleticism alone will become a positive x-factor of sorts. The good and bad with Collins was that you knew exactly what you'd get, while with most of these young, athletic bigs, you often don't have a clue game-to-game BUT, neither does the opponent. We've certainly seen the Celtics torched by these kind of guys on many occasions during the last 3 years, so it will be nice to "return the favor."

  • Alex
  • OKCeltic

    Does anyone know if there's a limit on the number of 10-day contracts a team can issue? If not, I think the team should sign two, DJ White and possibly Jerome James. I say White because he at least has some NBA experience and some decent skills, then the other could be someone like James who is a young 7-footer. If they don't pan out or someone else becomes available, you can let them go. S. Randolph…no thank you.

    • Phil725

      I don't think there's any total limit for a team, but you can only sign one player to two separate 10 days before you have to decide whether or not you want to sign him for the year. The only other potential limiter that may affect the Cs is the hard cap for teams that used the full MLE. They're a few million under that now since the Crawford deal actually saved them a little money this year, so I don't see it becoming an issue. Even the prorated minimum for the rest of the year is only something like ~400k at this point.

      I don't see anything that would block what you're suggesting outside of minute concerns. You aren't going to pay a guy to show up for ten days if he's going to play as much as Fab Melo, you may as well just have Fab Melo sit on the bench.

      • OKCeltic

        Good points Phil. I'm just thinking about how to fill that last roster spot. Maybe they don't fill it at all and finish out the season out with 14. Of course, everything changes if they can grab a decent player from the waiver/buy-out pile.

        With Doc's reluctance to play rookies (Sully being the exception), Fab may be better off playing in Maine rather than getting 2 minutes of junk time once a week. Obviously, the practice time with KG and others is invaluable, but he won't get much run there either because it will be mostly firsts against seconds.

        • Phil725

          I'd expect them to stay with 14 (I'm assuming they sign White or one of these rumored big guys.) That way you can add a 10 day at the the most relevant spot if someone goes down with a minor injury, or like you mention, pick up someone that really fits if they become available.

          I wouldn't underrate pure fiscal reasons though. The Cs are still paying the tax, so every dollar is doubled. The ownership group is as willing to pay as any in the league (and we should all be thankful for that,) but that still doesn't mean it's wise to throw away money if there's no spot to play a 15th guy. Money saved at the end of the roster is money you can use later.

          As for Fab, I'd expect him to head back to Maine sooner rather than later. I doubt he even plays garbage time now, since you'd rather have your 10 day contract guys out there to get an extended look at them while they're here.

  • Portceltic

    Ohlbrecht actually turned us down