The Boston Celtics, time and time again, are losing close games. For example, they've lost to the Spurs, the Bulls, and the Cavs, all within 8 points. In each of those games, you could easily pick out a few possessions the Celtics wasted a great defensive stand by allowing an offensive rebound and, in turn, gave up a bucket.
It's really the major cause of concern if you're a Celtics fan, like me. At this point, I've pretty much accepted that Danny Ainge isn't going to part with the Brooklyn picks in order to go after a Demarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, or Jimmy Butler type of player... aka a superstar.
Just look at our predictions going into the season: With this current roster, the Celtics should easily come in second in the East, and probably make it to the ECF against the Cavs. Right now, the Celtics are 11-8 and in fourth place. Now obviously there are still 63 games remaining on the schedule, so a lot can happen. For all we know, Al Horford becomes the superstar player that a lot of Celtics fans seemed to think he's been his whole career. But also, one injury could hurt this team severely.
They're not as deep on the bench as they were last year. The player that many thought was going to replace Evan Turner and Gerald Green, hasn't played in the past 6 games, and appears to be out of the rotation entirely... much like David Lee was last year before he was waived.
The lineup has been very effective since Horford and Crowder returned. The problem that still remains though, is rebounding. Names like Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor have bounced around recently as guys that can potentially help the cause. But one that hasn't been mentioned once is Kenneth "the Manimal" Faried. Faried is 27 and is the backup power forward on a Nuggets team that is 7-12 and in 10th in the Western Conference. The guy is averaging only 23.8 minutes per game this season, and is still averaging 9.2 rebounds per game. 9.2 rebounds would, conveniently be the most on the Celtics. And the Nuggets have him on their bench.
What would it cost the Celtics?
For starters, Faried is making just over $12 million this season, so the Celtics would have to find a salary that matches up to that number. The only player that matches up to that? Amir Johnson. Amir has been decent this year, especially on defense. But the man has bricks for hands and is a liability anywhere north of 8 feet from the basket. Faried is averaging 3 more points and 5 more rebounds than Amir in 3 more minutes. So adding Faried for Johnson would be an upgrade for the Celtics.
Nuggets Get: Amir Johnson and the Celtics 2nd round pick in 2017
Celtics Get: Kenneth Faried