It has been well documented that the Boston Celtics are currently in the midst of a rebuilding process. With the dismantling of the “Big Three” two years ago, the team finds themselves in the infant stages of rebuilding the roster. That being said, there are some bright spots heading into next year and the recent acquisition of Tyler Zeller from the Cleveland Cavaliers is one of them.
Along with a slew of other problems, the Celtics last year could not defend the paint. With no real rim protector and a bunch of undersized un-athletic big men on the roster (See Jared Sullinger, Kris Humphries, and Kelly Olynyk), the C’s could not stop opponents imposing their will down low. What Zeller brings is something the Celtics haven’t had for quite some time. He is an athletic legit seven footer who protects the rim, runs the floor well and rebounds. He can also shoot a little bit with a smooth 12- to 15-foot jump shot that keeps defenses honest. In his first two years with the Cavaliers Zeller averaged seven points and five rebounds in 21 minutes of play. Those numbers are not bad and will only get better as he matures and works on his craft.
I am not saying Tyler Zeller is the next big thing for the Celtics or is even a legitimate starting center at this point, but he has all the tools to be a very good player in this league and gives the Green security in an area where they need it most. The Celtics committed highway robbery by acquiring Zeller and Marcus Thornton from the Cavaliers two weeks ago.
With Boston being in the middle of a rebuilding year, making a conscious effort to invest in their younger players and in great need of a seven footer who has the skill set Tyler Zeller has, my money is on a breakout year for the North Carolina product.
Time will tell but for now it looks like Danny Ainge wins again.