Just as the Boston Celtics desperately search for interior help, Chris Johnson — who you might remember from his short stint in Boston last season — hit the free agent market after being bought by the Portland Trail Blazers.
ESPN’s Chris Forsberg mentions that the Celtics might want to go after Johnson:
Would the Celtics be interested in Johnson? There’s certainly a value in a 26-year-old with some familiarity of your system, particularly when you’re just looking for someone to eat minutes over the next 45 days. But both coach Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge preached patience in the process of adding another big man, suggesting they’ll likely take some time to see who emerges in the buyout market as teams shuffle their rosters before next Friday’s playoff eligibility waiver deadline.
If the Celtics end up with multiple open spots on their roster — depending on how they proceed with both Chris Wilcox and Jermaine O’Neal — it seems reasonable that Boston could eye Johnson. But it would also seem the preference would be waiting to see if someone more established — like New Orleans’ Chris Kaman — is bought out and seeks the opportunity to join a playoff-bound squad that can offer plenty of frontcourt minutes (at least until the postseason).
In case you don’t remember Johnson (he only played 32 minutes for the Celtics), he’s a superior athlete who could use a protein shake or 45 dozen. Appearing in 20 games for Portland this season, Johnson averaged 1.6 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in almost five minutes per game. He’s no Dwight Howard, but then again nobody else on the market will be, either.
Paul Flannery outlines both the (Tayshaun Prince-) slim free agent market and the D-League market, too. There are no stars there. But the Celtics desperately need big men, even if their job is just to mop up a few minutes and commit a handful of fouls.
The Celtics would obviously need to open a roster spot to add another player, but a Chris Wilcox buyout seems likely since he won’t play the remainder of the season.