Beyond Vitor Faverani (injured midseason) and Joel Anthony (too old to fit into the Celtics’ long-term plans), Boston didn’t have a true center last season – a fact Celtics coach Brad Stevens made no effort to disguise.
Power forwards Kris Humphries, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger took turns manning the pivot, a decent stopgap for a tanking team, but not a long-term solution.
So, it’s clear the Celtics could use a center. Sullinger’s father, Satch Sullinger, explains just how big a priority that is to Boston.
Satch, via ABC 6:
“Next year, I think he’s going to get finally get to play his true position of power forward. And so, at that point, he’s going to come home and he’s going to trim down and shed some pounds, so he gets a quicker step and a little more mobility. Because they’ve kind of promised him that they’re going to get a center.”
Sullinger has played well when healthy, 13.3 points and 8.1 points per game last season. If he loses weight, that could help him avoid injury.
Getting a center – both due to him and the reverberations throughout the lineup – would help the Celtics. Enough to make the 2015 playoffs? Depends on the center.
If Boston wants to rebuild patiently with another lottery pick, a center wouldn’t be a huge priority, because missing one would serve that purpose. Perhaps, this indicates the Celtics want to win next season – but that might depend on the results of the lottery.