There have been a lot of questions regarding big men for the last few seasons. Should the Celtics make a blockbuster deal and trade for an all-star caliber big man like Al Jefferson, or DeMarcus Cousins? Should they make a moderate trade and make a deal for Marcin Gortat or Timofey Mozgov? Should they just draft a big man like Gorgui Dieng, or Mason Plumlee?
There is a lot of uncertainty regarding which direction the Celtics can go when it comes to big men, but to me it's just like a case of going to a grocery store without a shopping list, and not taking inventory of what's already in your fridge.
The Celtic requirements for a big man seem to be someone who can score low in the post, rebound, defend, doesn't have too much of an attitude problem, and is cheap. Why can't Randolph be all those things? I don't see what more Randolph has to prove, and I don't see what the Celtics have to lose.
The Celtics have a team option on his contract for next season, so they can drop Randolph from the roster if he doesn't please the Celtics. He's a low-risk, high-reward player and quite honestly, I believe he can be more serviceable than any other big man that the Celtics could realistically draft at 16.
I'll go over the requirements for the ideal big man in more detail, and see how that pertains to Shavlik Randolph. These are just some of the stats Randolph was able to accumulate in his 16 games as a Celtic, and I know it's a small sample size, but bear with me.
Last season, Randolph averaged 4.2 points shooting 58.3% from the field in 12.4 minutes. His high field goal percentage came as a result of scoring very close to the basket. Out of the 48 shots that Randolph had attempted last season, 40 of them came within 5 feet or less of the basket. That's 83% of your field goal attempts coming from point-blank range.
If Randolph qualified, he'd be one of the best rebounders in the league. He has an outstanding offensive rebounding percentage of 18.3% which would rank him third in the league , and above players like Reggie Evans and Anderson Varejao.
His defensive rebounding percentage of 26.3% would tie him for 19th in the NBA (which still isn't bad), and it would still be the highest on the team.
This is a little bit of a problem area for Randolph. He plays solid defense in the sense that he doesn't let his opponents score field goals at an efficient rate, but he has a defensive rating of 108.5 which is the worst on the team, probably due to how much he puts players on the free throw line.
I'm not a fan of blaming referees, but I'll admit that sometimes Randolph is a victim of poor officiating, and gets called for a lot of ticky-tack fouls.
Randolph averages 0.19 fouls a minute, so he's roughly picked up 1 foul for every 5 minutes of playing time. Per 36 minutes he's averaged 6.9 fouls, and per 48 minutes he's averaged 14.9 fouls a game.
Randolph's best game of his NBA career was unfortunately cut short as he managed to put up 16 points and 7 rebounds against the Cavaliers in just 13 minutes of playing time. His ability to pick up 6 fouls in just 13 minutes ended arguably the best night of Shavlik's NBA career.
I have absolutely no idea what goes on in the Celtics locker room, but there hasn't been anything that says that Randolph is not a good locker room guy. He seems to say all the right things, and his teammates appreciate him.
Shav Randolph breaks down his secret to success (via Mike Petraglia)
Like I said earlier, the Celtics can decide whether or not Randolph stays on the team. If they do decide to keep him for next season, they'll be giving Randolph a little over $1.1M, which I think is a good deal considering what he's been able to showcase last season.
I hope the Celtics allow Randolph to showcase more of his abilities whether it's in the Summer League, the D-League, or preseason basketball. I think that Randolph can be a huge player for the Celtics if he's given the chance.
What are your thoughts? Can Shavlik be the big man that the Celtics have been looking for the last few years?