The Boston Celtics have had a changing of the guard at the center position this offseason. Last season, Al Horford and Aron Baynes handled the primary duties at the spot in the lineup, but both will find themselves elsewhere during the 2019-2020 season. And the Celtics will have to find a way to replace the duo.
While much of the attention has been given to free-agent acquisition Enes Kanter, 2018 first-round pick Robert Williams, Daniel Theis, and the 7-foot-7 summer league star Tacko Fall, the Celtics may have another option on the roster that could surprise.
According to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, the Celtics are high on Vincent Poirier. The French center signed with the team after finding success in the Euroleague, and Rohrbach pointed out what the team liked about him on Twitter.
Celtics are high on Vincent Poirier. Talked to a couple people familiar with him. No. 1 thing that stood out: His athleticism. He led the Euroleague in rebounding. “That doesn’t happen by accident.” He passed up a bigger payday in Europe to come to the NBA.— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) July 27, 2019
And that seemingly echoes what a Celtics executive recently said about acquiring Poirier this offseason.
"(Vincent) Poirier is a guy we’ve had eyes for a while," an anonymous Celtics executive told Keith Smith of Celtics Blog. "He was at Summer League a couple of years back and caught our eye with the way he moved for his size. He’s got the potential to be a big-time defender and rebounder."
Poirier averaged 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game playing for Baskonia in the Euroleague last year. If the 7-footer can continue to showcase that rebounding prowess in the NBA, he could quickly emerge as a quality role player for the Celtics. But given that he turned down more money in Europe to come to the NBA, the Celtics can be sure that he'll be hungry to prove himself.
While Poirier will have to compete with a lot of seasoned NBA players for minutes -- namely Kanter, Theis, and Williams -- it does seem like the battle for playing time at center is wide open. It will be interesting to see if Poirier can showcase enough in the offseason to earn some minutes.
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