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Brad Wanamaker brings another veteran presence to Boston's bench

The Boston Celtics are approaching free agency with just a few small holes to fill. The Celtics still need to re-sign Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes but they've also made some other moves to shore up depth.

Boston selected Robert Williams with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft last week. They've also negotiated and agreed to a deal with EuroLeague guard Brad Wanamaker.
The Pittsburgh product will sign a one-year deal worth the rookie minimum of $831,311. The Celtics originally wanted Wanamaker on a two-year contract but he probably wants a short-term deal so that he can set himself up for a nice pay bump next summer if he's successful at the NBA level.

Wanamaker, 28, turned down a big deal from Barcelona to sign with Boston in what might be his last shot to make the NBA during his career. He left $3.8 million and a starting spot on the table to take a minimum deal and bench role with the C's.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard can provide depth at a multitude of positions for the Celtics. He'll likely garner some of the minutes left over by Shane Larkin as a combo guard but it wouldn't be surprising to see Brad Stevens use the Euro veteran in three-guard lineups or for certain matchups. In fact, it seems like Stevens had one of the biggest impacts on Wanamaker's decision to sign with Boston after the two had a phone call discussing his potential role.
Wanamaker is good on offense. He can run the pick and roll, knock shots down from deep, and pass the ball with exceptional ability. But he's simply a nightmare defensively. Wanamaker has an athletic build with plenty of muscle that gives him the flexibility to match up with multiple positions. He can switch onto bigs and battle them in the post and also press his man for 94 feet. Wanamaker is also great at using his long wingspan to force ballhandlers into mistakes and creating turnovers.

Boston could run Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, and Wanamaker off the bench to create havoc as a second unit on defense. It's also nice to add a veteran guard to your bench rather than a rookie. Wanamaker has spent almost seven years overseas after going undrafted in 2011 and he's developed his game over that time. Adding his work ethic to the roster will only help motivate everyone else.

As of now, the Celtics roster for the 2018-19 season is basically complete, barring any Danny Ainge wizardry. Here's a potential look at the unit Boston will field next year. Can anyone else hear 18 ringing in your ears?

PG: Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier

SG: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Brad Wanamaker

SF: Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris, Abdel Nader

PF: Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye, Guerschon Yabusele

C: Al Horford, Aron Baynes (pending), Daniel Theis, Robert Williams

Brad Stevens is already drawing up some wild lineups for next season with the switchability across this roster.

Photo via Luca Sgamelloti/Getty Images

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Dustin Lewis 6/27/2018 03:24:00 PM Edit
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