Celtics Offseason

Would T.J. Warren or Lamar Stevens be a good fit for Celtics?

The Celtics clearly aren't done tinkering with their roster.

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Before the Boston Celtics left Las Vegas in July, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens noted the team likely would be in the market for additional wing depth before the start of training camp.

The Athletic reported Monday that the Celtics will work out forwards T.J. Warren and Lamar Stevens this week, while HoopsHype noted the team will also host forward Louis King.

The Celtics currently have two open spots on their 15-man roster and additional flexibility due to non-guaranteed contracts. Boston also has one two-way slot to fill.

Would Warren or Stevens make sense for a spot on the parent roster?

A healthy Warren is undeniably an intriguing option. The soon-to-be 30-year-old lit up the bubble in 2020 but consecutive stress fractures limited him to 46 regular-season games over the past two seasons. He shot just 32.8 percent on 3-pointers over 42 games split between Brooklyn and Phoenix last year.

The Suns did thrive in Warren’s limited minutes after acquiring him for the stretch run last year and he posted a team-best +14.5 net rating in his 197 minutes of court time. Alas, he played only 81 total minutes in six postseason appearances.

If the Celtics trust that Sam Hauser can play with more consistency this season, then they already have a 6-foot-8 offensive-minded wing who was also an analytics darling at the start of last season. Boston needs to lean heavier into Hauser with hopes that he doesn’t endure the slumps that bit into his playing time at the end of last season.

Lamar Stevens fits what the Celtics were looking for in wings this offseason. The 26-year-old forward, who blossomed out of a two-way deal, started 25 games for the Cavaliers last year and carved out a reputation as an energy guy who wasn’t concerned about his stats or role. Stevens got dealt to San Antonio as part of Cleveland’s Max Strus acquisition and was waived before his contract went guaranteed in July.

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The concern with Stevens would be a bit of overlap in skillset with Boston’s offseason signee Oshae Brissett. Stevens brings defensive versatility at the wing position but doesn’t shoot the 3 well (28.1 percent for his career). The way he can elevate a team’s defensive intensity is undeniably attractive but the Celtics have put a premium on having shooting on the floor.

If Warren is willing to embrace a potentially limited role and the team is confident in his health, then it might be worth a roll of the dice on a minimum deal. There’s no such thing as too much shooting in the NBA. If the team simply needs a younger player who won’t grumble about playing time and push the other wings on the team, then Stevens could be a solid fit who is capable of filling a bigger role if needed.

What’s clear is that the Celtics are not done tinkering with the end of their roster. The team cleared a second roster spot by waiving Justin Champagnie before his contract went guaranteed.

In July, Brad Stevens hinted the team would explore options at both the wing and big-man spots. The team signed Blake Griffin during training camp last year to add veteran depth to the bench and he remains on the free-agent market this summer.

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