The Boston Celtics will clearly be over the salary cap, as they already have $64 million tied into 7 players including Jeff Green.  Since they are over the cap, they will only be allowed to use the $3 million dollar Mid-Level exception as well as minimum contracts to fill out the roster.

Most can agree that the team lacks depth at the big men, with only Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal under contract.  We know Jermaine will be missing games due to injury making the Center position the biggest hole on the roster.  They will most likely sign JaJuan Johnson, but his lack of bulk will not satisfy the defense in the paint.  Let us take a look at which centers and power forwards are available at the tax paying mid-level exception bracket. 

Chuck Hayes
Playing on the overachieving Houston Rocket teams his whole career proves to the Celtics coaching staff that he understands the team defense concept.   Ever heard of the phrase playing ahead of his time? Well Chuck plays behind his time.  Standing 6’6” weighing 240 lbs, Chuck plays the center position in the body of a wing player.  He uses his low center of gravity to move his opponents from the spots they are most comfortable and has a knack for getting in the right place at the right time.  Making $2.3 million last season, he is a viable option to use the Mid-Level on.

Joel Przybilla
A career back up player, Joel understands his role as a bench center.   Having been in the league 11 years, Pryzbilla knows he will not be getting big time minutes which is exactly what they need at the back up position.  Although Boston’s back up center will probably receive more minutes than all back up players minutes around the league combined or eventually starting when O’Neal goes down.   Depending on what he is demanding, Przybilla will not see an annual salary of $7.4 million again.

Reggie Evans
Fantastic rebounder when he can stay on the court.  Reggie Evans has only made it to 58 games in the two seasons for the Toronto Raptors, which will help teams afford the undersized center.  Reggie will not be seeing contracts near the $5.1 million per season again especially after his foot injury against the Boston Celtics in November 2010.  I think he could fit in nicely as a back up power forward/center for this team.

These are the realistic candidates for the mid-level exception and ironically I listed my top three reasonable pick-ups in order.   Of course I would love the likes of Samual Dalembert ($13.4 million), Nene ($11.4 million),  Greg Oden ($8.6 million qualifying offer), Marc Gasol (going to get paid), and Tyson Chandler ($12.6 million), but obtaining these guys will most likely not happen. 

The next batch of guys who can be signed for minimum or close to that I would like to sign are Leon Powe ($900K), Shelden Williams ($900k), Juwan Howard ($1.4 million), Erick Dampier ($1.1 million), Kurt Thomas ($1.4 million), Etan Thomas ($1.2 million) and Theo Ratliff ($1.4 million).  This group is more reasonable to obtain then the one previously mentioned.  It really is slim pickings out there for back up centers and being a cold weather city, I see a lot of these guys standing in line to become BFF’s with the Heatles.

Jacob Noble 12/05/2011 06:47:00 AM Edit
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14 Responses so far.

  1. Jenda says:

    Every time I see this list my brain says "forget all and go root for OKC".

  2. joserra says:

    We need Marc Gasol, he is perfect for center and he is pretty young but the problem is that Memphis don't want to let him go, so...

  3. Anonymous says:

    What about DeAndre Jordan???!!!!

  4. Jenda - Haha, we must never forget!
    Joserra - Celtics would have to make a trade to get Gasol
    Anonymous - DeAndre is leaving the Clippers because he wants big bucks, we can't afford him either.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good realistic list.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Time is over for our squad, we need to rebuild!Know not in two years when we have nothing to trade for. we need young talent and good draft picks, we need to get docs son austin, look what the okc management did, they have got a bunch of crazy talented guys not older than 24.thats what we need, forget about the next two years start rebuilding, investing in talents, we saw the lack of offense and all injuries thats enought for my celticsheart, i love KG and ray but we need to think about trading them as long as possible

  7. Anonymous says:

    DeAndre isn't going anywhere. He's restricted and the Clippers will match.

  8. smith says:

    Anonymous says:
    December 5, 2011 8:39 AM... Time isn't over, but after this season the Celtics will need to rebuild and get younger. The can't see Danny keeping an aging KG, RR, OR PP for another year. For now Danny needs to get creative and add depth to this bench.

    I don't want to see the Celtics just play out the 66 game season, I want to my one last run at the finals before this team is broken up.

  9. Jon L. says:

    Out of these three guys, I would rather have Hayes because I see him having the biggest upside.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Do any of you have any clue how good the Celtics starting 5 is? We had 4 all stars last year... A healthy JO is a perfect fit with the starters. Jeff Green, Delonte, Baby are as much quality as you can ask for in the guard, wing and big positions. If we don't get battered with injuries like last year, I have the Celtics favored over any team in a seven game series.

  11. JR says:

    Good realistic list Jacob

  12. Jay says:

    Im a little worried we arent going to be able to sign anyone decent...just 1 one of these guys is not really going to help us

  13. Anonymous says:

    Get Shaq back! At ten minutes a night he would still be awesome, and I'd bet he would do it for 100 bucks!

  14. Cough cough http://www.nba.com/draft/2011/prospects/gary-mcghee/

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