Ime Udoka Reveals Celtics Have Long Eyed Deal With Ex Top-10 Pick

Nik Stauskas, now of the Boston Celtics

Getty Nik Stauskas, now of the Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics added another shooter to their ranks on March 3, adding Nik Stauskas on a two-year deal.

The move shores up one of the Celtics’ weakest areas this season while also adding another NBA veteran to the end of the team’s bench. Stuaskas had been having a fantastic season in the G-league before his call-up, shooting 46.6% from deep on the season.

During a recent press conference, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka noted how pleased he was that the team managed to land the shooter, primarily because of how many other teams were interested in signing him.

The Celtics have stuck to a stringent eight-man rotation since the turn of the year, so Stauskas does face a battle to earn playing time on his new team, however, during cold-shooting stretches, Boston now has a legitimate sniper to call upon.

Celtics Have Scoring Options Now

Boston’s scoring options beyond Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been rather slim pickings this season. Payton Pritchard struggled for playing time until Dennis Schroder was shipped out around the trade deadline, while Aaron Nesmith has failed to find any consistency from deep.

Al Horford’s jumper is showing signs of a resurgence, which bodes well for the Celtics five-out offense, but it’s been clear they need more, especially in terms of single-skill specialists. Now, with Stauskas, Sam Hauser, and even Luke Kornet, the team has enough shooting to feel confident as they approach the playoffs.

The bigger question is if any of these shooters are ever going to see minutes, and if so, will they be able to find a rhythm in a pinch. Otherwise, Boston will find themselves in a sticky situation when or if the time comes, because there’s no point having shooters if you’re not giving them ample opportunity to shoot the ball.

Stauskas is a six-year NBA veteran who at six-foot-six gives the Celtics some “shooting with size.” However, it’s not just the shooting that’s made Stauskas such an attractive addition to a team already boasting Hauser and Nesmith, it’s also because Udoka has clearly favored veterans this season, and having played 337 NBA games, the Mississauga native has the highest chance of seeing the floor.

Celtics Sign Kelan Martin & Malik Fitts to Second 10-Day

Beyond adding shooting to their roster, the Celtics have also shown interest in filling out their final roster spots with additional wing defenders, but have maintained any contract would have to go to the ‘right fit.’

As such, it should come as no surprise that the Celtics extended a second 10-day contract to both Kelan Martin and Malik Fitts, as they bid to take a closer look at what both of the free agents have to offer the roster in the way of defensive versatility.

Of course, we should expect to see either Martin or Fitts strutting their stuff against the likes of the Brooklyn Nets or Milwaukee Bucks, but having additional defensive players to ease the burden should injuries arise is a desirable outcome. We’re yet to see either of these two free agents in action, so it’s hard to gauge if either of them have what it takes to cut it on this Celtics roster.

But if the team has decided to extend their stay by a further 10 days, that can only mean good things. For now, we will just have to wait and see, and that goes for when Stauskas will get his first opportunity too.

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