Since the departure of Al Horford in the 2019 NBA free agency, there have been growing calls for the Boston Celtics to add a defensive-minded player to their frontcourt rotation. They may have succeeded in surpassing expectations in the 2019-20 season, but in order to strengthen their chances of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the championship title, the Celtics should find ways to address the major weaknesses on their roster this fall. One of the defensive-minded big men that the Celtics could target in the 2020 NBA free agency is veteran power forward Paul Millsap of the Denver Nuggets.
Millsap is currently playing the final year of his contract with the Nuggets and set to become an unrestricted free agent in the 2020 offseason. If he fails to reach an agreement regarding a new contract with the Nuggets, Mark Nilon of Fansided's Hardwood Houdini believes that the Celtics should immediately make a move and pursue Millsap. He may no longer be in his prime and has already shown a decline in his performance this season, but Nilon thinks he would still be a "fantastic addition" to the Celtics.
"Though showing signs of lessened mobility and acceleration — as expected as one ages — the 4x All-Star has still proven capable of providing quality production for his respective squad (sixth-best offensive and defensive rating on the team). With his skill set coupled with his substantial experience both in the regular season and in the postseason (10 playoff appearances, six of which saw deep runs) a guy like Millsap would be a fantastic addition to any team in need of bolstering their frontcourt depth. Add in the fact that he likely could be had with the league's taxpayer Mid-Level Exception and you have all the more reason to pursue such a talent."
If they could convince him to accept the mid-level exception, adding Millsap to their roster would make a lot of sense for the Celtics. At 35, the veteran power forward remains a reliable contributor on both ends of the floor and could immediately address Boston's need of a defensive-minded big man in their frontcourt. What makes him a more intriguing acquisition for the Celtics is his ability to efficiently knock down shots from the three-point range.
This season, he's averaging 12.0 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 44.0 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. The Celtics may not be able to give Millsap a huge payday, but they could assure him more playing time and a spot in their starting lineup. Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens could use him as their starting power forward or as their center when he plans to execute a small-ball offense.