Celtics Could Add 4-Time NBA Champion in Free Agency

Andre Iguodala, Boston Celtics

Getty Andre Iguodala, Boston Celtics

Despite the Boston Celtics adding multiple young veterans to their training camp roster, the team still has numerous roster spots waiting to be filled.

As originally reported by The Atheltic’s Jay King, Brad Stevens’ current plan is to allow Ime Udoka to evaluate some of the younger veterans to see if they’re capable of adding to the current roster. However, the two wing options heading into training camp are Bruno Caboclo and Brodric Thomas, both of whom are highly unlikely to be impactful members of the rotation.

Should neither of those wings impress, the Celtics could turn their attention back to the free agency market, where former Golden State Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala is currently residing, waiting to for a new team to represent in the upcoming season.

Iguodala became a free agent this summer following a successful second spell with the Warriors, helping them to lift the 2022 NBA Championship, courtesy of their 4-2 victory over Boston.


Can Iguodala Still Make an Impact?

At 38 years old, Iguodala is coming to the end of his career, yet this past season, he still found ways to help the Warriors, despite playing a limited role. In 31 regular-season games, the Illinois native averaged four points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per contest while shooting 61.7% from two-point range and 23% from deep.

As you can see, Iguodala is still capable of providing a well-rounded impact, as well as adding some genuine veteran leadership with a championship pedigree. In terms of how Iguodala would fit with the Celtics, it’s likely he would be asked to focus on guarding perimeter wings and attacking the rim off the catch, while also leaning into his wing playmaking to make life easier for the team’s scoring threats.

According to Basketball Index, Iguodala is among the most consistent players in the NBA for his willingness to pass out of the drive – known as drive-and-kick – something which Udoka has preached since taking the role as head coach. On defense, Iguodala is still a legitimate force, although he’s no longer a point-of-attack defender, and instead, spends more time nullifying slashers, where he ranked amongst the top 6% of wing defenders this past season.

Similar to last season in Golden State, Iguodala would be given a defined role to play off the bench and given how the Celtics struggled when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown weren’t on the floor last season, adding the veteran wing could be a smart decision.


Juhann Begarin to Remain in Europe

Another wing under contract with the Celtics is Juhann Begarin, however, the young wing has decided to remain in France, where he will continue his development. Begarin was selected by the Celtics with the 45th of the 2021 NBA Draft but chose to return to France to experience the country’s top league after Paris Basketball had received promotion. 

Begarin finished his season in France with averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 51.2% from two and 30.9% from three. While there’s no question that Begarin has all of the athletic tools to succeed at the NBA level, allowing him to continue developing in Europe projects to be the correct call, as it’s hard to envision a genuine route to playing time for him in Boston.

During Las Vegas Summer league, Begarin impressed with his 18.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game while also converting 42.7 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three. It will be interesting to watch his development from a far before he likely returns to the United States next summer as part of Boston’s 2023 Summer League roster.

 

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