After Celtics big (man) spending spree, what's the plan at center?

After Celtics big (man) spending spree, what's the plan at center?

BOSTON -- For the Celtics, replacing Al Horford was not expected to be the job of just one man. 

How about four? 

We’re not even 48 hours removed from the Horford era, all three years of it, coming to an end before Danny Ainge and the Celtics have moved on by loading up on potential replacements. 

NBA veteran big man Enis Kanter was the first domino to fall Boston's way when he agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal on Monday. 

Boston doubled up on bringing in bigs on Tuesday by signing French 7-footer Vincent Poirier to a two-year deal, while also re-signing restricted 6-10 free agent Daniel Theis to a two-year, $10 million contract.

And we’re not even going to include 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall who signed an Exhibit 10 contract with Boston and would likely spend most of his time with the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s G-League affiliate if he sticks with the team.

They join second-year center Robert Williams III as the Celtics players vying for the starting job at center. 

Horford’s departure took with it any realistic hopes that this Celtics team as they were comprised immediately following him leaving, would be a title contender. 

But this Celtics team is being built to compete, with nowhere being more obvious of this than the competition brewing up at center. 

The goal of that competition is for all involved to play their best and thus raises the potential for success this season. 

But if that doesn’t happen this season, no worries. 

Boston has positioned itself to quickly pivot away from the current bevy of bigs, all of whom are on deals lasting no more than two years. 

Those short-term deals also allow Boston to have the kind of salary cap flexibility that they will surely need going forward if they are to get back to where they were at the start of last season, and that’s being among the top teams in the NBA. 

And with all the candidates in their early-to-mid 20s, this season affords them a chance to play a major role for the Celtics. 

Indeed, it was the opportunity to play a major role that would ultimately be among the factors that attracted players to Boston. 

Because when all is said and done, NBA players are no different than those who play AAU ball, high school or in college. 

Whatever team they’re on, they want to be starting or at a minimum get major minutes. 

For Boston’s quartet of bigs - Kanter, Williams III, Theis and Poirier - the time and opportunity to be a major player in the NBA is now. 

And while no one player can fill the void that’s left with Horford’s departure (and to a lesser extent, Aron Baynes being traded), one of these guys will be in the starting lineup on opening night. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.


Celtics vs. Trail Blazers live stream: How to watch NBA game online

Celtics vs. Trail Blazers live stream: How to watch NBA game online

The Boston Celtics will look to bounce back against the Portland Trailblazers after falling to the Los Angeles Lakers 114-112 on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the C's will once again be without starting point guard Kemba Walker as he'll miss his third game in a row due to knee soreness. Robert Williams remains out of the lineup, but noted it shouldn't be too long until he makes his return.

Boston will be looking to young stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to lead the way in Walker's absence while also hoping Gordon Hayward gets going early after a 29-point performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves last week.

Here's how to watch Celtics vs. Trail Blazers, including NBC Sports Boston's pregame coverage, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.


Listen and subscribe to our Celtics Talk Podcast>>>


BEFORE THE GAME: At 9 p.m., Celtics Pregame Live presented by TD Bank gets you ready for the game with reports from Kyle Draper, Brian Scalabrine, Michael Holley, Chris Mannix, Chris Forsberg and Abby Chin. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream.

AT HALFTIME: Tune in to watch a breakdown of the first two quarters on Halftime Live presented by Ace Ticket. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream.

AFTER THE GAME: As soon as the game ends, tune to Celtics Postgame Live presented by New England Ford for analysis, commentary and player reaction. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream

Questions on our livestream? Get all your questions answered here on our Streaming FAQ.



Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Brad Stevens addresses whether Kemba Walker played too many minutes in All-Star Game

Brad Stevens addresses whether Kemba Walker played too many minutes in All-Star Game

Kemba Walker will miss his third straight game for the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night as he continues to recover from a left knee injury.

Walker logged 29 minutes during the NBA All-Star Game, but experienced soreness and swelling in his knee afterward that has prevented him from suiting up with the C's. That begs the question, should Walker have gotten as much playing time as he did?

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens addressed that question Tuesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak & Bertrand."

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

"That's a good question," Stevens said. "I don't know. I think the biggest thing -- and I said this last week or whatever -- if our medical staff and/or Kemba would have thought that there was any way that he would have come back with more soreness and more swelling, he wouldn't have played. He wouldn't have chose to play. Like, he's not going to do that. So I think it was an unfortunate deal that, you know, the swelling happened. That was kind of the difference in how his knee presented versus how it presented in the past. And it was pretty significant.

"We knew he was going to be out a little bit here, but now what we've tried to do is say OK, what's the best way so we don't play the back-and-forth game? And so that we can have him feeling great and you're not in as much of a day-by-day, 'OK how's he feeling today? How's it going to present tomorrow?' So he's focused in the last three days in really strengthening."

Stevens also reiterated that he doesn't expect this to be a long-term issue with Walker.

"No, he's had regular scans on that really ever since he got back from USA Basketball just to continue to make sure. And by regular, I mean maybe once every other month or once every month-and-a-half. So no, nothing structurally."

Watch below:

Stevens hasn't ruled Walker out for Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz, though it's more than likely he'll miss his fourth straight contest.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Trail Blazers, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.