By Michael LeDuc @mike_leduc on April 10, 2014
Danny Ainge and the rest of the Boston Celtics' owners have voiced their confidence about "fireworks" this offseason. Boston certainly has the means to pull off something significant this season considering their plethora of draft picks, young assets and expiring contracts. One of the Celtics' top needs is a rim-protecting center. Here are five players who can fill that role for the Celtics next season.
Boston was considerably close to acquiring Omer Asik and should consider his services again this summer. Houston's asking price seems to be high, but it should come down with Asik's cap hit in 2014-15. Asik fits the rim protector mold. The Celtics could trade Jeff Green, Brandon Bass or a couple of draft picks to obtain Asik's services.
Marcin Gortat is set to be free agent this summer, and the Celtics should target the 6-foot-11 center. Gortat isn't an idea defensive center, but he physical and is a tenacious rebounder. He also provides an offensive threat inside on the other side of the ball.
The only knock on Monroe is that he is a subpar defensive player. He's terrific offensively, imposing his will in the paint with his strength and power. He's an excellent rebounder, but doesn't fit the mold as a rim protector. Set to be a restricted free agent, the Celtics should consider a sign-and-trade deal involving Jeff Green.
Embiid has a great amount of potential and could very well be a dominant center in the NBA someday. If the Celtics get lucky and find themselves with a Top-3 pick, then Embiid should be on top of their draft board. The 7-footer is a project, but he might have everything Boston is looking for.
Sander's contract, recent shenanigans and digression should make the lengthy center a movable piece this summer. Despite his woes, he is the perfect type of big man to put next to Jared Sullinger in the frontcourt. He's tall, athletic and controls the paint on the defensive end. It would be a risky move, but the potential reward is undeniable.
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