The Boston Celtics were extremely close to adding another NBA Finals victory to their storied franchise this past season. Despite losing to the Golden State Warriors, the 2021-2022 NBA campaign was an overall success for Boston. They labored through the first portion of the season and rumors began swirling about a potential rebuild. However, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Ime Udoka turned things around in January and never looked back.
So what can the Celtics do to improve this offseason? They don't necessarily need to do anything major given the fact that their core is still intact. Sure, Kevin Durant would be a dream addition… but there are two players on the free agent market who would bolster the overall roster at a cheaper cost.
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2 players Celtics must sign in 2022 NBA Free Agency
The Celtics reportedly have interest in signing Nicolas Batum this offseason, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. But should Boston attempt to sign Batum?
The Celtics main goal in 2022 NBA free agency is simply to tie up loose ends on the roster. Batum is a versatile defender who offers three-point ability. He could be a valuable weapon off of the bench for Ime Udoka.
There is a belief that the Clippers and Batum have mutual interest in a reunion. But the Celtics could pry the veteran away with the right offer. Championship teams such as the Warriors have strong veteran presences on the roster. Andre Iguodala did not play much during the postseason but still helped the team with his presence on the bench.
So Nicolas Batum is a guy that makes sense for the Celtics from a talent and leadership perspective.
I'm not technically including Patty Mills on this list. However, the Celtics would be smart to inquire about the veteran guard should he decline his player option with the Brooklyn Nets. He would be a nice depth piece behind Marcus Smart in the rotation. But Mills is expected to return to Brooklyn.
Otto Porter Jr stepped up and played a big role for the Warriors during the playoffs. He impressed many people around the league, and the Celtics surely took notice.
The 29-year old is another versatile defender who offers athleticism, offensive prowess, and a strong I.Q. on the court. Additionally, he is still fairly young despite being a 9-year NBA veteran.
Otto porter Jr won't make or break a team. But he could be a vital piece to the puzzle in the long run. The Celtics second unit would benefit from adding Porter Jr. He could even start some games or play with the starting lineup at times if Udoka runs small-ball rotations next season. His defense would be crucial for the Celtics given his ability to guard post and wing players. He has been listed as a small and power forward during the course of his career, so the versatility is present without question.
Porter Jr is a fairly similar player to Draymond Green. No, I don't mean in the sense of racking up technical fouls and hosting a podcast. But their skill sets mirror one another. And Green has been a staple in Golden State for years now. Porter Jr could bring something similar to the table in Boston should the Celtics ink him this offseason.
These players could help push Boston over the hump next season. Boston is already a good team, but they could reach new heights by adding Nicolas Batum and/or Otto Porter Jr.