Tomase: Three big men Celtics can sign for final roster spot with Andrew Bogut joining Lakers

John Tomase
September 21, 2017 - 3:39 pm
Spencer Hawes

Benny Sieu/USA Today Sports


With Andrew Bogut off the board after agreeing to join LaVar's Big Ballers in Los Angeles, the Celtics are left considering less recognizable names to fill their final roster spot.

The presumption is they'll sign a big man to the veteran's minimum who can help in the one area they did not address this hectic offseason -- rebounding. Considering the importance of spacing in Brad Stevens' offense, a big man with 3-point range would be a bonus. (We should also acknowledge the possibility they leave the spot empty and fill it during the season).

Bogut never made a ton of sense because of his injury history, especially after he played exactly one minute with the Cavaliers last season before suffering a season-ending broken leg (to be fair, he also played 26 games with the Mavs). The soon-to-be 33-year-old has missed nearly 300 games since being selected first overall in the 2005 draft. There are more reliable options out there.

Who are they? Here are three.

Start with Spencer Hawes. The well-traveled 7-footer was a recent salary cap casualty of the Bucks, and he cleared waivers at the start of September.

He's a poor man's Kelly Olynyk, right down to the man-bun. He's a lifetime .350 shooter on 3-pointers who has averaged 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds for his career. His best season came in 2013-14, when he averaged 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds a game between Philadelphia and Cleveland. He also shot a career-high .416 on 3's.

Hawes isn't a strong defender, but he's a solid defensive rebounder and decently skilled offensive player. He has some experience playing alongside newest Celtic Kyrie Irving from their brief overlap in Cleveland, where Hawes shot nearly 45 percent on 3's.

If Danny Ainge prioritizes rebounding, then he could turn to Thomas Robinson. Only five years removed from being the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Kings -- one spot ahead of Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard and four ahead of Pistons All-Star center Andre Drummond -- the 6-foot-10 Robinson has already played for six franchises.

He's pretty much a zero offensively -- he's a 50.5 percent lifetime free throw shooter who has never averaged six points a game -- but his lifetime rebound percentage of 19.8 outpaces Celtics center Al Horford (15.0) to name one. He's particularly strong on the defensive boards, where his rebounding percentage has pushed 30 percent over the last three seasons.

Another possibility? Old friend Kris Humphries. The former Mr. Kim Kardashian played one season for the Celtics in 2013-14, averaging 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds. He was part of an infamously morose group photo after the Paul Pierce trade with the Nets, posing with a Celtics jersey alongside Keith Bogans and MarShon Brooks like a bunch of hostages.

It's easy to forget that the 32-year-old once averaged a double-double for two straight seasons with the Nets, but those days are gone. In any event, he remains a rugged rebounder who may not be a 3-point shooter, but has some range beyond the elbows.

Whatever the Celtics decide, we should note that we're talking about the last roster spot. That typically doesn't include major minutes, which might explain why Bogut chose the Big Baller circus over a chance to compete for a conference title in Boston.

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