The Boston Celtics are heading into NBA free agency looking to make a splash and bring in a legitimate star. There are a few different players that they could target, but bringing in a big man would be ideal. Danny Ainge has always been aggressive and that will not change this offseason.
Cody Williams of FanSided opined that the Celtics could end up signing star big man Hassan Whiteside in free agency this offseason. It won't be easy to bring him on board, but it makes a lot of sense for both parties.
Whiteside would be a perfect fit with the Celtics and would immediately make them a serious contender in the Eastern Conference. Boston would finally get their defensive stopper and they would have a much larger role for Whiteside on offense than he has had with the Miami Heat. Brad Stevens has a very talented group of wing players and getting a legitimate big man could be exactly what the team needs to take the next step.
Last season with the Heat, Whiteside ended up averaging 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and an impressive 3.7 blocks per game. He shot 60.6 percent from the field overall and knocked down 65.0 percent of his foul shots. There is no question that his offensive numbers could rise in a big way and the Celtics can help him make that happen.
Boston would be a threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, who many believe to be the top-two teams in the conference heading into next season. Whiteside would be a better big man than either of the two teams have, although Myles Turner and Tristan Thompson are extremely good players as well.
At 27-years-old, Whiteside still has plenty of potential to work his way into moving forward. He will have to get stronger with his post moves, although he seems to have the body to do that already. Perhaps learning from a new head coach would help him take the next step, although Erik Spoelstra is one of the top coaches in the NBA.
They should definitely pursue Whiteside this offseason and be aggressive with their pursuit. There is a chance that they will try to sign Kevin Durant, although their chances seem slim to none that he would join the Celtics. Too many other teams could offer Durant the same kind of deal and a better chance to compete for a ring.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what other teams show interest in signing Whiteside when free agency opens up.
Expect hear plenty of rumors come out in the next week or two about both the Celtics and Whiteside. The two names could be linked together quite a bit as well. Whiteside is going to be a name to keep an eye on this offseason and the Celtics certainly seem to be a perfect fit from the outside looking in.
Do you think that the Boston Celtics should make signing Hassan Whiteside one of their top priorities this offseason? Would he be the piece that is able to power them to the top-three in the Eastern Conference? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Joe Skipper]