The Boston Celtics are looking to get back on track after their lackadaisical start to the season and, over their past six outings, they’ve looked to have found some sustained success, going 5-1 through such a span.
That said, despite this streak, the team is still looking to make changes, with rumors coming out about what players they’ll wish to target and, inversely, which players they’ll be willing to ship away come Stitched Boston Celtics Jerseys the March 25th NBA Trade Deadline.
Recently, Yahoo Sports writer Chris Hayes reported that the C’s front office could be open to trading Tristan Thompson at this year’s deadline, with the Toronto Raptors being a potential landing spot for the center.
Though Boston’s frontcourt depth has perhaps been the biggest weakness for the team over the past two years, if Brad Stevens’ latest comments on this specific rotation are any indicators, Thompson may not be the only big man viewed as expendable by the franchise this season.
Could the Boston Celtics be viewing Daniel Theis as expendable?
When the Boston Celtics last took to the court during Sunday’s victory over the Houston Rockets, their usual starting center, Daniel Theis, only managed to log six minutes of action by game’s end.
The peculiar part about this decision by the coaching staff was that there was no clear reason as to why they opted to pull the German Hammer early, as he was not off on his shot (didn’t even get a chance to attempt one), had not let up any turnovers, and was nowhere near finding himself in foul trouble.
So, what gives?
Well, when asked about the minutes distribution for the team’s center rotation during the postgame presser, Stevens insinuated that this type of scenario is connected to a bigger picture moving forward:
“I talked to Theis at halftime. We’re going to be in this situation more now where one of those guys isn’t playing as much, as we’re smaller and it wont be the same guys every night because it’ll be matchup dependent and kind of who’s going…”
Stevens would later go on to state that Boston will be trying to limit their center rotation to just two guys as the season progresses, while also seemingly insinuating that one said “guys” has already been chosen in Robert Williams III, where he would say his desire is to play the third-year pro “more and more and more”:
“… Rob obviously gives us an upside there that I think we just need to keep building and building and building.”
Though the main rumor of late has been that the Boston Celtics could be interested in dealing Thompson, when digging deeper into the idea of shipping off one of their frontcourt talents Theis might actually be the preferred option as he is in the final year of his contract and, with his production over the past two seasons coupled with his specific floor spacing/ rim-protecting skillset he very easily could find himself jumping ship for a larger contract this offseason.
Perhaps Brad Stevens’ recent comments represent more than just praise over Robert Williams’ progression.