When Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge, pulled the trigger on the Brooklyn Nets trade back in June, the Celtics sent away some friendly faces that fans had enjoyed cheering for over the years. The faces they got in return aren’t as familiar. Since Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Keith Bogans came to the Celtics, fans are not only wondering what these guys can do, but also how will they fit in with a new team that has a new, young head coach. Here’s what we know about these new Celtics.
Gerald Wallace plays ridiculously hard on every single play. There aren’t many guys in the league that you could compare to Kevin Garnett in terms of tenacity on the court, but Wallace is probably one of them. In fact, he plays so hard that it has been at the detriment of his own health at times. Wallace earned the nickname “Crash” for his reckless style of play that leads to his frequent injuries. Early in Wallace’s career, he earned a reputation for extraordinary athleticism and versatility. Wallace has been popular among fantasy basketball enthusiasts because he fills up the entire stat sheet. In 2010, Wallace became the first Charlotte Bobcats player in appear in an All-Star game. Since then, Wallace’s numbers have gone up and down and remain almost as unpredictable as his injuries are. Now, heading in to his 14th season, Wallace can contribute in a big way on a Celtics team that will need his help. The worst part about having Wallace on the team is his bloated contract. Expect Head Coach Brad Stevens to give Crash plenty of run, so that the team can showcase his talents in an effort to possibly trade the forward later in the season.
MarShon Brooks is extremely talented. The Celtics knew this when Brooks was drafted out of Providence in the 2011 Draft. The reason they know this is that the Celtics were the team that originally drafted him. The 6-foot-5 swingman was taken by the C’s with the 25th pick in the draft and then immediately traded to the Nets for the 27th pick (JaJuan Johnson). Now Brooks is back with the team that originally drafted him. Brooks is an athletic wing that can score the basketball. The potential is there for Brooks to average double digits in scoring. There seems to be some maturity issues, though. Early on, Brooks struggled with confidence and fitting in with the team. Brooks is a great player in isolation, but it remains to be seen if he can thrive in a team-oriented scheme.
Kris Humphries is more famous for his reality television history (and brief marriage to Kim Kardashian) than he is for his basketball ability. That said, he’s a much better basketball player than he is reality TV star. The 6-foot-9 power forward struggled early in his career and bounced around with few different teams. However, Humphries really started to find his stride after landing with the Nets and began putting up solid numbers. 2011 became a breakout season for Humphries, averaging a double-double in points and rebounds during a time when the Nets were one of the worst teams in the league. Last season, Humphries really struggled on a rejuvenated Nets squad and found himself in the coach’s doghouse for most of the year. Because of that, people forget how productive Humphries can be. If you look at his old numbers, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. The question is whether Humphries can put up those numbers on a decent team.
The other player dealt to Boston was Keith Bogans. The 33-year-old shooting guard has made a successful career as an undervalued glue guy. What Bogans brings to the table is hard to evaluate with statistics. He’s a blue-collar player that plays with a lot of pride and heart. He’s solid defensively and does the little things right. Bogans won’t win the Celtics any games by himself, but he definitely won’t lose any for them either.
Nobody knows exactly how these guys will ultimately fit in as Celtics. It would make a lot of sense to try to move all them via trade (the exception being Brooks because of youth and upside). However, it still could be a decent year for the Celtics. Don’t be surprised if you see Boston sneak into playoffs, and don’t be surprised if these four guys had something to do with it either.