clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Deep summer mailbag answers - Part 1

Christian Wood, Porzingis’ health, and Celtics roster depth questions

Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Mitch’s Dad

Did the C’s conduct a medical exam before trading for Porzingas? If so, why didn’t the foot problem show up? Or did he injure it between trade and mid-August? This type of injury tends to be chronic, I believe.

I can only tell you what has been reported as I don’t have any additional inside information. Most trades do include at least exchanging medical information if not requiring an exam unless that is waived (and I didn’t hear anything about it being waived in this case).

It was reported (by the team and via his twitter account) that he has plantar fasciitis. I haven’t seen it reported prior to this that plantar fasciitis was an issue for him, but he did miss time in the past with his feet, ankles, knees, and back. He’s a very large human being that puts a lot of stress on his feet, so this isn’t a surprising situation. Some of those injuries are likely related (sometimes you hurt something by overcompensating for something else).

From what I understand, this specific issue can be treated (mostly with rest). But clearly the overall worry is that any number of his prior injuries could re-occur in the future. I’m sure the Celtics understood the risks and made the trade with their eyes wide open.


What are they looking to do with the final 2 roster spots? Does this “situation” with Zinger make them think a bit more at adding another big like Christian Wood - if there is an available insurance policy sitting there and a guy like Terence Davis still there as well.....

I know they would like to see how things look and adjust in Jan/Feb but.......

With Rob and KP to have more depth rather than less......How much do you want to call Luke’s number?

I assume they will add one vet and keep the 15th open

I wouldn’t mind seeing them add another depth big man. I know that Christian Wood is a popular name because he’s the most talented big on the market. However, I’m skeptical that he’ll actually settle for the vet min to potentially be buried on Boston’s depth chart if everyone is healthy. I’m also not inclined to give him more than the vet min considering how close we are to the tax line.

I imagine they’ll bring a bunch of guys in for training camp and see if any of them impress enough to stick around. And we’ll see if Blake Griffin is interested in leading the Bus 1 Boys again.

2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League - Boston Celtics v New York Knicks Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images


What’s Dalano Banton’s place going to be? Glorified camp invite, deep bench depth, or a project?

Banton’s contract is only guaranteed for $200K. So while it seems that the Celtics like him enough to give him a shot in training camp, I wouldn’t rule out the team waiving him if they find better options at the position.

He didn’t stick in Toronto but he’s only been in the league a couple of years. Based on Summer League, he has feel for the game and good size. I’m just not sure how much run he’ll get until he can shoot more consistently. Probably a deep bench option if he sticks.


What will happen if there is an extended injury to one of the:




Make the case pro and con for #ChristianWood

I think we can withstand an injury to a PG (say Malcom Brogdon for instance) because it would just mean more time for Payton Pritchard.

If we lose Tatum or Brown for an extended period we’re probably doomed and all of this is moot.

I’m just assuming there’s going to be an extended absence by one or more of the bigs. In that case I would imagine more minutes for Kornet and perhaps some more small ball lineups.

Ok, it seems like Christian Wood is going to be a theme here, so let me elaborate on what I said above. Not only am I skeptical that he would pick the Celtics at the price they would be willing to pay, I’m just a Wood skeptic in general.

I admit he’s got offensive talent, but it sounds like that comes and goes. And on the other side of the ball he’s a train wreck. Listen to this analysis from our friends at Mavs Moneyball.

“ His biggest issues came on defense. He could not stay with people, rotated poorly, and had almost no awareness on that side of the ball. This put him in Kidd’s doghouse the entire year and is why he was on the bench during closing time more often than not. “

On top of all that, I’d be hesitant to add him to the locker room without knowing exactly why he seems to have worn out his welcome everywhere he’s played.

I get the concept. He’s talented and might come cheap. I’m just not convinced.

Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images


Lots of people here seem to think Brissett will be buried on the deep bench. I think he’s going to win a lot of the minutes Grant played last year and surprise everyone. What’s your prediction?

I want to believe in Oshae, in part because we really, really need wing depth on this team. I highly recommend this fun read by Wayne Spooney on Brissett. Basically, if he shoots, he could open up a lot of good things for himself and the Celtics.

If you want to pin me down on a prediction, I’d say he’s in the rotation during the regular season.

Update: As I was writing this, it was reported that the Celtics are working out wings TJ Warren and Lamar Stevens. If one of them signs, that would likely push Brissett down the rotation.


Is free agency a bad deal for veterans with the new CBA? A bunch of guys remain unsigned that have been more than serviceable in their prior league performance. Thinking of guys like Ish Smith, Danny Green, Kendrick Nunn, Terrence Ross, Austin Rivers, Maurice Harkless, T.J. Warren, Justise Winslow, JaMychal Green, Serge Ibaka...not saying I would necessarily want any of these players (maybe Winslow?), but it’s surprising to me that so many may have to look overseas to find work this coming season. Is this just the normal changing of the guard, or has the new CBA made life harder for NBA veterans?

As contracts keep going up and the tax penalties get tougher, I do think you are going to see the “lower-middle class” get squeezed. The top guys will always get paid. Mid level exception guys will have a market to an extent. More and more players are going to elect to extend their current contracts. And at the back end of the rotation, teams are not going to have as much to spend. So you’ll see some guys with name recognition have to settle for mid-level deals.

Given the timeline for this team, I would love to see one of those veterans looking to chase a ring and take a vet min with the Celtics like Blake Griffin did last year. There just isn’t a lot of minutes to devote to projects and young players.


Whatever happened with Vincent Valerio-Bodon, and why did we see so little of him in Summer League?

Is the future for JD Davison looking better or worse now than it did a year ago?

Juhann Begarin—does he have an NBA future at this point? Like, more or less of one than Yam Madar?

Gotta admit, I don’t know much if anything about Vincent Valerio-Bodon. My guess is that the Celtics just liked other guys more than him in Summer League.

I’m probably a little down on JD Davison after Summer League. I know you need to give young, raw point guards time to develop. He’s clearly an athletic marvel, but I’m concerned that he doesn’t have the best feel for the game. I don’t know if that’s necessarily something you develop with more reps in the G-League, but I guess we’ll see. Interestingly, Yam is kind of the opposite. Great feel, not so great size.

Everything I’ve heard about Begarin has been similar to what I just wrote about JD. Athletic enough to play in the league, just still very raw. At least he doesn’t have to run an offense from his position.

Ultimately I don’t know if any of these mentioned guys becomes rotation players for the Celtics, but they have potential. JD is clearly the closest since he’s on a two-way. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Begarin and Yam brought to training camp or even signed to 2-way deals next year. Out of those two, I think I like Begarin’s chances better.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images


Riddle me this: How is it that last year’s team had an over abundance of guards and this year’s team has a depth issue there even though we only lost one guard? What have I missed? I have read several statements on CB about this and they left me confused (that is normal for me though).

It really boils down to your opinion of Payton Pritchard. He seemed to earn a backup rotation position the prior year, but with the addition of Brogdon, he was overqualified as the 4th PG on a roster. Now he’s 3rd and to me that’s a proper place for him in the pecking order.

The twist in this story is that Brogdon is an injury risk. If he misses significant time (and it does worry me that he didn’t get surgery this offseason), all of a sudden Pritchard is your main backup. Maybe he’s ready for that. Maybe not. We’ll see.


Once Jordan Walsh is consistently getting 10+ minutes per game, do you expect him to be 1st team all-rookie?

Not really. I don’t think he’ll get 10+ minutes a game and even if he did he’d be competing for a spot on All-Rookie against guys that are on rebuilding teams that can afford to let them play 30+ minutes a night.


1) How much more of the double big lineups will we see this season?

2) How many minutes can we expect Horford to average? 25 or more or less than 25?

3) Tatum, Brown, Porzingis and White will probably be on the floor to close tight games. Who will most often be the 5th player - Brogdon, Horford or Rob?

4) Will Tatum’s 3 point shooting percentage improve to at least his career average of 37.5? Do we know if that’s something he’s devoting extra attention to in the off season?

1) I hope a lot, because that would mean everyone’s healthy. But even in that scenario, I get the feeling that there will be a lot of rest days built into the rotation for our bigs. I also like the potential mismatches that the Celtics can take advantage of with combinations of those guys.

2) Last season he was over 30 per game (63 games played). For reference, Grant Williams averaged 25.9 per game (79 games played). I wouldn’t mind getting him closer to 25 per game (again, because that would mean we have healthy bigs) but I tend to think he’ll still be in the upper 20’s.

3. I don’t think Rob is likely to be in the closing lineup unless there’s a specific lob threat they want to use in an ATO. I’d probably hedge to Horford because he brings added size and can shoot just as well as Brogdon. Plus he’s a better defender.

4. There are excuses for why Tatum’s shooting percentage has slipped. He’s doing a lot of playmaking work out there, teams are focusing their game plan around disrupting him, and he’s also an important rebounder for the team. Plus his improvement focus the prior summer was getting into the lane and getting to the line. My hope is that another year in his role will help him feel more comfortable and that tiny bit of comfort will lead to more confidence in his shot and thus a higher percentage. If it does, I think we’re looking at a legit MVP candidate.

Ok, I’m going to need to take a break as this is getting very long. Seems like a good place to break this up. So stay tuned for more mailbag answers soon. Thanks for the great questions everyone!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Celtics Blog Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Boston Celtics news from Celtics Blog