Ime Udoka Reveals Celtics Plans for Buyout Additions

Ime Udoka, Boston Celtics

Getty Ime Udoka, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics decided against adding to their roster during the March 1 buy-out deadline, opting to trust the rotation they have in place for the remainder of the season.

As such, any player the Celtics sign off the buy-out market moving forwards will not retain playoff eligibility. Speaking ahead of the Celtics game against the Atlanta Hawks on March 1, head coach Ime Udoka shared his thoughts on Boston’s chances of making an acquisition before the deadline passed.

“We can explore it for sure, we have two guys on 10-days right now, so some flexibility as far as that. Unless there’s something that comes out of the woodwork that we don’t know about, feels like we’ll stand pat, but you never know. We’re always monitoring, adding shooting was a big part of it, you see the names that keep coming up, but unless there’s a surprise, we’ll see,” Udoka said.

Ime Udoka Says Celtics Will Likley 'Stand Pat' in Buy Out Market | Celtics PregameBOSTON, MA — Boston Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka spoke to the media before the Celtics take on the Atlanta Hawks at home on Tuesday. QUOTES FROM IME UDOKA BELOW: Udoka on 13-15 spots: “Unless something comes out of the woodwork, we’ll stand pat…we’ll see the names that come up.” “(Matt Ryan) is similar to…2022-03-01T23:17:18Z

It remains to be seen if the Celtics will decide to extend a full contract to 10-day players Kelan Martin and Malik Fitts, or if at least one of them has done enough to remain with the franchise beyond their deal.

Celtics Added Shooting in Matt Ryan’s Two-Way Deal

Sam Hauser is now officially a Boston Celtic after the team converted his two-way deal in mid-February. As you would expect, Hauser’s promotion left an available two-way slot that the team could fill if the right prospect became available. That spot was recently filled when the Celtics acquired Matt Ryan from the Colorado Grand Rapids.

“When we had the spots and availability, a big part of that was going to be shooting. Guys that we could target down the line. Similar to Sam Hauser’s signing initially, he’s shot the ball at a high level recently, played great in the G-League and played well with USA Basketball, had some games. Once he became available, with Sam being converted we were targeting another shooter and he fits that mold,” Udoka said.

Ryan is a notable shooting talent, having averaged 18.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 38.7% shooting from deep. So it looks like the Celtics achieved their target of adding an additional shooter to the Celtics roster, but with so much talent in front of him, it’s unlikely we see Ryan make his Boston debut in the near future.

Still, if you’re interested to watch the six-foot-seven forward, you can always catch his highlights on YouTube, or watch a Maine Celtics game. Of course, there’s every chance we do see Ryan in the near future if Boston is able to blow out an opponent early enough for the bench to get emptied in garbage time.

Celtics Show Resolve vs. Atlanta Hawks

When you think about the Celtics’ areas of weakness, shooting is the first issue that comes to mind. But, when you look a little bit closer, it’s easy to see why Udoka and Brad Stevens have shown little in the way of concern recently.

Sure, the Celtics’ three-point shooting is abysmal, it ranks 22nd in the NBA and regularly undermines the team’s excellent offensive movement. This season Udoka’s team has become notorious for generating open shooting opportunities but failing to convert them into points on the board. So, adding more shooters was always going to be high on the priority list.

But, against the Atlanta Hawks on March 1, the Celtics overcame a poor shooting night, and the loss of Jaylen Brown to injury, to overcome a stern opponent. Boston fought to victory based on their defensive intensity and physicality as a team, not because they relied upon three after three. Yes, an elite shooter will always have a place in the NBA, but it doesn’t mean that a team’s success is defined by the number of shooters it has at its disposal.

The Celtics face the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets before the end of the week – two offensively charged teams, capable of putting numbers up in bunches. While the Celtics will be reliant on their defense standing strong, these upcoming games might be the time for Udoka to call upon Hauser and Ryan, because if you can’t lean on your sharpshooters against the best the NBA has to offer, there’s no point having them on the payroll at all.


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