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5 good reasons to have Joel Anthony around this year

No really. He's awesome.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

When Joel Anthony picked up his player option of $3.8M this season, nobody should have been shocked. He wasn't going to get that kind of contract on the open market, even as a defensive center that could probably help a few contending teams.  If he had opted out it would have freed up that cap room and maybe given the Celtics a little more wiggle room to add someone else under the luxury tax, but I'm not entirely sure that would have made much of an impact right away.

So we're kicking off our daily Countdown to Camp articles with some reasons why having Joel Anthony around isn't such a bad thing.

1. Defense: On a team that suffered from a serious lack of interior defense last year, a defensive big man is a nice option to have on the bench.

Joel Anthony Giving His All To Celtics While Former Heat Squad Preps For Playoffs | Boston Celtics |

"I like Joel’s energy," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "I like what he brings to the table. He’s got great discipline in his screening, he’s a good one-on-one post defender and I think he can give us our best opportunity at a rim presence defensively."

2. Championship experience: Unless I'm forgetting someone, Anthony is the only player on the roster that has two Championship rings.  He knows first hand what it took to climb that mountain, not once, but twice.  He even started in 51 games during that first title run.

Miami Heat trade Joel Anthony to Celtics, acquire Toney Douglas from Warriors - Sun Sentinel

He was the longest-tenured current Heat player other than Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem, playing 6 1/2  seasons in Miami. He appeared in 382 career games (110 starts) and averaged 2.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.27 blocks while shooting 50.8 percent from the field.

3. Respected nice guy: You won't find many people that don't enjoy the company of Anthony.  He's not going to make waves (though to be fair, I thought the same of Keith Bogans last year) and he seems to understand his place in this basketball universe very well.

Anthony, Johnson quietly join C's - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN Boston

"I understand the business of how things work," said Anthony, a soft-spoken Montreal native, who took an open locker spot next to fellow Canadian Kelly Olynyk. "Obviously, you want to be able to stay for all that, but it's time to move on. Fortunately, I'm in a position where I'm going somewhere there's another opportunity for me. So I'm just looking to take advantage of that and continue on with my career."

4. Age: He's 32 years old.  Because someone has to be the old guy that tells funny stories about when Shaq was still in the league.  Gerald Wallace can't do it all by himself.

5. Expiring contract: Saved the best for last.  Would it have been better to have his money off the books right away?  Probably.  But Ainge made the trade last year knowing fully well that he'd pick up that option so none of this is a surprise.  Right now, timing is more important than anything.  Anthony's contract expires at the same time as several other contracts on the Celtics.  That's good for next year's salary cap room and it is good for using potentially at the trade deadline.

So believe it or not, having Joel Anthony around is a good thing.

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