With Robert Williams III out for four to six weeks due to arthroscopic surgery on his knee, as reported by Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney, the Boston Celtics have the option to add one of the bigger name free agent centers still available on the market. That includes Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMarcus Cousins, and Hassan Whiteside, among others.
Adding one of them could potentially help the Celtics’ frontcourt depth, but according to Jay King, the Celtics aren’t interested in them or any other big-name veteran center on the market.
This does not necessarily mean they won’t be interested in signing one of those centers down the line, but it does signify that the Celtics are comfortable with who they have in their present frontcourt heading into training camp. Even with Williams presumed to miss training camp, preseason, and potentially the start of the regular season. Not to mention Danilo Gallinari will be out indefinitely with a torn ACL.
Celtics Believe in Luke Kornet and Mfiondu Kabengele
In the latest Heavy on Celtics Newsletter, Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney explained why the Celtics are choosing this route.
“The Celtics had hoped to address the question of depth in the frontcourt with some makeshift solutions this year, giving veteran journeyman Luke Kornet an opportunity to earn a spot and leaving open the possibility of minutes for two-way signee Mfiondu Kabengele.”
While signing someone like Howard or Aldridge would make sense, Deveney explains that the Celtics want to give centers a chance first while adding that Williams’ timeframe plays a factor.
“With the knee surgery that C Robert Williams will have this week, logic dictates the Celtics must now pursue a veteran big man like LaMarcus Aldridge or Dwight Howard. There are some in the organization, though, who want to stick with the idea of giving untested players a chance first, especially if Williams can return sometime in November.”
Adrian Wojnarowski echoed a similar sentiment on September 20.
“They expect to have (Williams) at 100 percent fairly early in the season. So I think it still remains to be seen whether Boston feels like it needs to go out and get some help. Really, mostly, this is going to be a preseason, training camp injury.”
Wojnarowski also added that the Celtics had some interest in Aldridge earlier in the summer.
“There are still some veteran bigs out there in the marketplace if they decide that they want to add somebody. Dwight Howard is out there. LaMarcus Aldridge is out there, a player I was told they showed a little interest in this summer.”
Celtics Sign Luka Samanic
After the Celtics had waived Bruno Caboclo, Bobby Manning of CLNS Media reported that the team had signed former first-round pick Luka Samanic to a training camp deal.
Samanic spent two seasons with his original team, the San Antonio Spurs, before they waived him prior to the start of the 2021-22 season. Samanic then signed a two-way contract with the New York Knicks. While never playing a game for the Knicks, he played seven games with their G-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, where he averaged 27.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists while shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three, according to Basketball-Reference.
With Samanic onboard, that leaves the Celtics with him, Kornet, Kabengele, Al Horford, Grant Williams, and Noah Vonleh as their playable centers on their training camp roster.