The Boston Celtics will begin their season without a major rotational player, as confirmed by Tuesday’s report surrounding center Robert Williams III. However, despite the news which has Williams missing four-to-six weeks with a left knee injury, the latest reports claim the Celtics’ plans don’t involve an outside addition.
Boston’s current roster — aside from Williams — features Al Horford and Mfiondu Kabengele as the other two options to roll with at the five spot.
“Despite Robert Williams’s knee procedure, I was told the Celtics are not planning to sign one of the big-name veteran centers still available,” The Athletic’s Jay King reported on Twitter on Wednesday. “Expect them to replace the recently waived Bruno Caboclo with another young big man to compete for a spot in training camp.”
Williams, a soaring fan favorite since joining the Celtics after being drafted No. 27 overall in 2018, has worked his way to become a household name in the elite NBA defensive category.
Considering the reported timetable by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it would make sense why the Celtics don’t feel the need to target a former big-name veteran center such as LaMarcus Aldridge or Dwight Howard. Starting the season off without Williams may not be ideal, yet it remains a sustainable option for a short-term period. In the event that Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens adds a veteran big, head coach Ime Udoka would be left to manage the minute distribution when Williams returns.
That decision would lead to an even more difficult dilemma for the roster if the Celtics saw notable role growth in an Aldridge or Howard — regardless if it came in a second unit role or as Horford’s replacement.