As it stands, the Boston Celtics aren’t exactly flush with roster spots. However, there’s a belief that the team could end up moving newly acquired players like Kris Dunn and Bruno Fernando. Meanwhile, head coach Ime Udoka has teased that team president Brad Stevens may not be done tinkering with the roster.
So, even as Stevens has already completed multiple trades and signings, the Celtics could still look different than they do now on opening night.
According to Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale, a pair of free-agent sharpshooters could make sense for the Beantowners. In his latest piece, which attempted to identify the 10 best unsigned free agents as of Tuesday, Favale listed the Celtics as one of the best potential fits for veteran JJ Redick and two-way player Garrison Mathews.
Redick Entering His ‘Kyle Korver Phase’
Fifteen years of getting buckets from all over the court have cemented Redick’s place as one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. However, his time as a major contributor in a playoff-worthy rotation appears to have reached its end.
After making the surprising decision to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019, Redick did what he had always done throughout his career in year one. Over 60 games (36 starts), the 6-foot-3 guard put up 15.3 points per contest and nailed 45.3% of his three-point attempts.
The wheels came off a bit in 2020-21, though.
“He’s coming off a season in which he struggled to hit shots out of the gate before missing extensive time with a right foot injury,” wrote Favale. “Having just turned 37, he could be entering the Kyle Korver phase of his career.”
However, Favale firmly believes that Redick is worth kicking the tires on.
“Some team, somewhere, should still see whether he has more left in the tank,” he added. “Shooting tends to age well, and Redick hasn’t nailed fewer than 37 percent of his three-point attempts since the 2012-13 season.”
Favale did note that the recent addition of Dennis Schroder and the summer-league efforts of Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard could preclude the Celtics from making a move here. However, he still has Boston listed as one of Redick’s best fits.
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Mathews Is More Than a ‘Stab-in-the-Dark Flier’
Like Redick, Mathews has been a deadeye three-point shooter as a pro. However, he is much, much less of a known quantity. The Lipscomb product went undrafted in 2019 before catching on with the Washington Wizards via a two-way pact the following season.
In year one, he split time between the Wiz and the G League’s Capital City Go-Go. Last season, though, he returned as a two-way player and managed to play in 64 games for Washington, starting 24 of them. In doing so, he averaged 5.5 points in 16.2 minutes per contest and he 38.4% of his triples.
Wrote Favale: “He should be considered more than a stab-in-the-dark flier as a 24-year-old who can really sling it and knows how to use his 6-foot-5 frame on defense.”
Favale also noted that Mathews “Has flashed some (perhaps excessive) aplomb when making straightaway beelines and attempting to finish through contact.”
The Wizards reportedly rescinded Mathews’ qualifying offer earlier this month.
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