The Celtics have signed center Daniel Ochefu, a 6-11 center, who played 19 games with the Wizards as a rookie last season.
Ochefu, cut by the Wizards in camp, averaged 1.3 points and 1.2 rebounds for Washington in totaling just 75 minutes in his first season out of Villanova.
With the injury to Celtics big man Aron Baynes, who hyperextended his left knee in a preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week, Ochefu was perhaps signed because of the uncertainty over Baynes' status.
Brian Robb of BostonSportsJournal.com reports that Ochefu is likely ticketed for the Celtics' G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.
The popular narrative surrounding struggling Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum is that he’s hit the dreaded “rookie wall.” Another fun theory is that he’s been hampered by a dislocated finger suffered on December 20 vs Miami. One or both may be the cause of his dip in shooting since the start of this calendar year (he went from 58.5 eFG percent in 2017 to 46.2 eFG percent in 2018). But another factor could be respect, or the lack thereof, for Tatum when driving to the hoop.
From October through December, Tatum averaged 4.6 drives per game, coming away with points on 77 percent of those drives (fourth in the NBA). A lot of those points came at the line, as Tatum drew a foul on an NBA-leading 15 percent of his trips to the basket. Since January 1, Tatum is averaging 6.5 drives per game, but is only coming away with points on 55 percent of those drives. Oddly, the Celtics forward is only drawing a foul on 6 percent of his drives over that span, which is 67th in the NBA.
It’s hard to say why he’s no longer getting fouls, but the lack of respect is definitely impacting his overall efficiency. Hopefully the zebras will start treating Tatum like the obvious future Hall of Famer he is in the final stretch of the season.
A buyout seems to be looming for the Atlanta Hawks power forward Ersan Ilyasova.
The 6-foot-10 inch forward is averaging 10.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 46 games played this season. He's on a one-year, $6 million contract with the Hawks.
If he hits the open market, as seems likely, he might be worth a look from the Celtics. A stretch forward who can make 3-pointers is a notable addition to any team.
Ilyasova could ultimately add some size and depth to a guard-heavy Celtics team that's looking to make a deep playoff run come April.