Three veteran centers the Celtics should pursue on the buyout market

Dieng guards Aldridge
The Boston Celtics are expected to look at the buyout market. Photo from Beale Street Bears.

There are a lot of Celtics buyout targets set to hit the market. 

Acquiring a veteran multi-faceted scorer in Evan Fournier was a good move for the Boston Celtics to add a lethal weapon off the bench. But Fournier, even if he’s putting up career-bests on both points and assists this season, will not move the needle for the Celtics.

Celtics buyout targets

After an underwhelming performance in the trade deadline saga, the Celtics front office will now turn their focus on the buyout market.

Going into the trade deadline, the Celtics had a $28 million TPE (Traded Player Exception) that they received from the sign-and-trade deal that landed Gordon Hayward in Charlotte last offseason.

The Celtics used a portion of that TPE to take in Fournier’s expiring $17M salary.

It means that the Celtics can still use the remaining $11M in that TPE to sign a quality player from the buyout market.

Having said that, let’s take a look at the three buyout candidates that the Celtics should target to bolster their line-up just in time for the playoffs.

Andre Drummond

It is not a secret that the Celtics still need more depth in the frontcourt. It didn’t help that they were forced to trade away Daniel Theis, who was slated to enter unrestricted free agency this offseason.


It’s expected that Theis would demand a bigger payday this summer, something that the Celtics’ cap space cannot afford.

Robert Williams has earned a well-deserved playing time this season. However, Theis was still their most versatile center on the defensive end of the floor.

The Celtics could cushion the blow of the Theis departure by pursuing Andre Drummond. Drummond recently reached a buyout agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Drummond still has his weaknesses in switching onto quicker perimeter players, but he could definitely help in containing someone like Joel Embiid.

It’s in the rebounding department that Drummond will be of value, considering that the Celtics are only ranked 17th in that area.

LaMarcus Aldridge

It seems like every season, LaMarcus Aldridge‘s name is linked to the Celtics.

It’s only fair because the Celtics have always lacked a scoring presence down low. Aldridge could provide that for them.

Aldridge’s production has significantly dipped this season, but that is because he also lost a significant amount of playing time in the San Antonio Spurs‘ rotation. He is still a deadly post scorer, and he has expanded his range to the three-point line in the past couple of years.

Reports have it that the Miami Heat are the frontrunners in the Aldridge sweepstakes, but the Celtics could nab him by offering him a more valuable role.

Gorgui Dieng

The Memphis Grizzlies recently waived the 31-year old Gorgui Dieng, adding his name to the bevy of frontcourt players in the buyout market.

Dieng has been effective in spot-up minutes for the Grizzlies this season, and his per 36 minutes numbers look like this: 16.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 blocks.

There is nothing that will stand out in Dieng’s skill set, but he has grown into a versatile center that can do a little bit of everything for a team.

If Boston loses out on both Drummond and Aldridge, look for them to be interested in Dieng’s services.

 

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