Celtics big man Vincent Poirier formerly of Baskonia in the Spanish Liga ACB was heavily scouted in 2018-19 by Boston’s director of player personnel Austin Ainge. With stints in the 2016-2017 Summer League, Poirier played nine games stateside as NBA scouts kept tabs on the Frenchman for years prior to making the leap to the NBA. The shot blocking, ability to catch lobs above the rim, and tenacious rebounding were traits the team recognized in his All-Euroleague Second Team nod.
The Celtics signed the 7-foot Frenchman to a 2 year $5.1 million deal last summer. With a team worst net rating of -6.5 through 130 minutes under his belt, Boston fans might be forgiven for forgetting Vinny was even on the team at all.
That very hefty salary for Poirier is exactly why he’s featured in multiple trade scenarios for the sake of matching salaries. If the Celtics do make a splash at the deadline or indeed during the season, Vincent could be a valuable expiring contract to throw into the mix.
With a glut of bigs, Vincent quickly became the 4th option on the team behind Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, and Robert Williams. When the C’s went small, we often saw Grant Williams feature and that further pushed Vincent down the pecking order. The Celtics gained yet even more depth in the regular season with a certain 7’6” Rookie, Tacko Fall, who arguably edged ahead of Poirier in the depth chart as the season wore on.
At this point it’s a classic case of “break the glass in an emergency” for Vincent, he’s still adjusting to the speed of the NBA, he probably needs a full year in the G-League, and he’s not going to be able to start any meaningful games at anytime soon. But, he’s got a nice tradeable contract, and sometimes in the league, that can mean more to that other team than it does to your own.