Amir Johnson is someone I was overly excited about once it was announced the Celtics were signing him to a 2YR/$24M deal. First off, the contract is awesome, as the salary cap ceiling is rising in the NBA in a few years and that money available will come in huge come 2016-17. For now though Amir Johnson is a great player to have on this Celtics team. Amir's stats wont jump off the page, as his best season was back in 2013 where he average 10 and 7 with over a block per game.
The stats do not tell the whole story for Johnson though as he is a true warrior on the court. The hustle this guy brings day in and day out in a grueling NBA season is awesome. Fans will fall in love with his grit and determination during each play very quickly this season, as he truly brings a post presence to a team sorely lacking at that spot last year.
Amir is the favorite to start next to Lee on opening night as it stands now, but no matter the outcome, any combination of Amir and Lee added to Zeller/Olynyk/Sully/Jerebko bring Brad Stevens tremendous depth and lineup options that opposing teams will surely grow sick of as the season progresses.
Now onto Lee. David Lee only started only four games this past year for the Golden State Warriors. That had to do with how good the Warriors truly were more than Lee's talent. Just two years prior Lee averaged 18 and 11, earning a spot on the All Star team. What can we expect for him as a Celtic?
Well, that really depends on Brad Stevens. Right now the Celtics front court is loaded talent with guys like Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko and the previously mentioned Amir Johnson. Stevens will have quite the task this season to manage the minutes of his players and it will be interesting to see who starts on opening night.
What Lee can bring to the Celtics given minutes is an above average rebounder with excellent skills on the offensive end. Those 2013 numbers will be really hard to come by in this crowded front court, but hopefully he can get close to that when playing 30+ minutes a night. Stevens will have his hands full teaching Lee how to become a better defender as that has really been his biggest weakness throughout his career.
I can't really blame the guy either, as he was on the Knicks of all teams to start his career for the first 5 seasons. Lee is supposedly excited to compete for minutes and is embracing the competition, two things any Celtic fan should love to hear. I am expecting Lee to be starting opening night and hopefully starting once the playoffs roll around as well.
By Jack Journeay