By Aaron Jackson,
With the Celtics fighting for an Eastern Conference crown, there comes a growing interest from veterans that may be bought out, or have already been bought out, by their respective teams.
Here are five players the Celtics could bring into the fold.
1. Ersan Ilyasova: Ilyasova was with the Atlanta Hawks up until Monday when he reached a buyout with the team. The early rumors have him headed to Philly, but the Celtics are definitely a better short term destination in the very least. He’s always been a player capable of 10 points and five rebounds, and while Boston has a younger version of his skill set in Daniel Theis, he could still provide some value for the team.
2. Tyreke Evans: There were lots of rumors before the trade deadline swirling around the C’s and Evans. Memphis ended up holding on to the scoring guard, but how long will they really keep him? There’s a decent chance he gets bought out, and if so the Celtics would be a great fit. He would provide scoring on the bench and spot starts in a role that would fit a need.
3. Tony Allen: Celtics fans remember this guy somewhat affectionately as “Trick or Treat” Tony. Sometimes he would look like an all star, other times he’d look like a player that didn’t belong on the court. He found a niche as a lock down defender in Memphis, but his age is getting up there and he doesn’t have the ability to play 30 plus minutes a night anymore. That said, he could still be an extra defender off the bench to help against Demar DeRozan, Bradley Beal, LeBron James and the rest of the East’s talent in the playoffs.
4. Brook Lopez: Once the future of the Nets, Lopez has fallen on tough times in L.A. He says he wants to stay, but the team may opt to give young talent like Ivica Zubac more playing time at his expense. His rebounding woes for a 7 footer are well known, but he’s still a player that can put some points on the board. This one seems unlikely because of their acquisition of Greg Monroe, who has struggled to fit into the team as a similar player.
5. Boris Diaw: The long-time Spur hasn’t played in the NBA this season but with a veteran like him that may not be important. He has been playing overseas in France, and it’s not like he’s ever been a model of physical fitness anyway. Diaw has always been known as a guy that is an incredible passing big man that knows his role and plays it well. He’s also been great under pressure in playoff games. He could be a great veteran presence for a young Celtics squad.