The summer of 2015 was an odd one for the Boston Celtics. Not because of the moves the team did or didn’t make, but because for the first time in nearly twenty years, the franchise had something other teams around the league like to call "cap space."
Rather than go after one of the off-season’s bigger fish, though, Danny Ainge decided to remain patient and shelled out $12 million to sign Amir Johnson away from the Toronto Raptors.
The move was admittedly very surprising, especially when you consider how often the Celtics were connected to guys like Kevin Love, Greg Monroe and Tobias Harris throughout the 2014-15 season. But Boston nailed this deal.
Getting a guy like Johnson, who can singlehandedly begin to address some of the Celtics’ biggest issues—rim protection, low-post scoring, three-point shooting—could wind up being a steal. The only question is: where does he fit in?
The Celtics already have an embarrassment of serviceable big men and adding Johnson to the mix will make minutes even harder to come by. However, the 10-year pro is a chameleon of sorts, as he’s able to impact games at some level no matter who he’s playing alongside.
Stick him out there with Tyler Zeller; he’ll space the floor.
Send him into a game with Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk or David Lee; he’ll grab boards and protect the paint.
There really isn’t anything he’s not willing to do to help his teams win ball games. And with so many young, impressionable players on the Celtics’ roster, Johnson will also serve as a guy that can show the youngsters how to play NBA basketball at a high level.
If one thing is certain, though, it’s that Johnson isn’t lacking confidence as he enters his first season as a Boston Celtic.
"I definitely feel like I’ll fit in," Johnson said in July, via Marc D’Amico of Celtics.com. "… I’ve got a lot to bring to the table."