Is Spencer Hawes the best option for Boston's last roster spot?

Spencer Hawes
Let's face it. The player that fills that 15th roster spot will not play a major role in the regular season, and certainly not in the playoffs. Danny Ainge has at least three routes he can take. He can fill a specific need, he can plan for the future or he can do nothing at all for the present.

One of the present needs is rebounding. Spencer Hawes is a big who can rebound and hit three-pointers. He could fill part of the gap left by Kelly Olynyk's departure. But Hawes is 29 years old, and has bounced around the league for his entire career. Spencer would not be a bad choice for the final spot, but there are better choices.

Andrew Bogut is considered a possibility by some, but I am not one of them. This guy is great but he will turn 33 in November and he can not stay healthy. Over 13 NBA seasons, he has played, on average, less than 52 games per season. That number is skewed a bit because he only played in one game, his debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers, last season. He lasted less than a minute before he broke his leg.

Thomas Robinson's name has also been broached. He is a young big who can rebound. But he is not a three-point shooter and can't make free throws. And he has played for six teams in four NBA seasons. He fills the rebounding need but little else.

At age 24, Shabazz Muhammed is an offensive force, but he does have a history of injuries. I truly believe that Danny would love a championship this season, and that is a possibility. But his more realistic expectation would be another year or two down the road. Muhammed would fit that timeline. He is a wing that can play the two, three or four and just might be another closer that is so vital to NBA success. He has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, or he may go back to the Minnesota Timberwolves. I feel he should be given consideration.

Ainge always regretted not trying harder to retain Tony Allen. He has a chance to get him back, but I don't feel Tony fits the Celts timeline. If Danny truly expects to go to the finals this year, Allen would be a good choice. Even at 35 years old, he can give even super stars fits with his defense.

JaMychal Green

JaMychal Green is 27 years old and won't turn 28 until June of 2018. He has only been in the NBA for three seasons but has improved significantly every year. Green shoots well from the field, three-point line and charity stripe. And he rebounds. Under coach Brad Stevens, JaMychal could very well blossom.

Green is a restricted free agent, and it seems that Memphis is merely waiting for an offer from another team to surface before making any decisions. If Danny wants to fill that 15th slot now, this is the guy to go after. But Ainge may just simply go into the season with 14 players and let things fall into place as the season progresses. This is what's Parker Fleming had to say:
JaMychal Green is a solid basketball player. He can rebound the ball. He has a nice shooting touch from behind the arc – a coveted skill for the modern day power forward. In addition, he’s a versatile defender, guarding post players like Karl-Anthony Towns or wings like Kevin Durant.

As a backup plan, Gerald Green might work just fine. He is not a rebounder or high-level defender, but he can score when called upon. He knows the Celts system and apparently is a great locker room presence.

So that's it. I would not consider Robinson at all. The same with Bogut. Hawes might work for a year or two. Ditto for Allen. Muhammed needs more serious consideration. If he improved in the Celtics system, he could help in the coming years or be packaged in a future trade. JaMychal Green seems a near-perfect fit, but Danny better get his chess pieces out. It won't be easy. If everything else fails, Gerald Green is a pretty good consolation prize.

Into the season, players get waived and trades occur. Ainge just may wait to see what happens. Watching Danny grimace and whine during his playing days, I never visualized him in his present role as Celtics Executive. But he is damn good. Now just find a way to get JaMychal Green.

Hawes photo credit: Fernando Medina/Getty Images
Green photo credit: David Zalubowski/Associated Press