Examining big man free agent options for the final Celtics roster spot

Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

An overlooked plotline in the wake of the Kyrie Irving 3-for-1 deal becoming official last Wednesday was the opening up of a spot on the Celtics 15-man roster. Danny Ainge could go in a variety of directions to fill that spot, but one hole that was created with the completion of the trade was big man depth. After Al Horford and Aron Baynes, the Celtics are suddenly a little undermanned up front outside of unproven stretch rookie bigs like Daniel Theis and Semi Ojeleye. Jayson Tatum will certainly see plenty of minutes at the 4 as well, but an injury up front could leave the Celtics very shorthanded.

Ainge is clearly already thinking about his options on this front after bringing in Thomas Robinson for a workout last week, but the timing seems right to take a closer look at Boston’s remaining options on the free agent market in early September. Keep in mind that the Celtics only have the veteran’s minimum to offer since they are above the salary cap. There are a lot of appealing restricted free agent big men out there (JaMychal Green, Nikola Mirotic, etc.) but the Celtics don’t have the money to sign those guys (unless it’s via a sign-and-trade). We'll dive into those options in a later post. For now, we'll just focus on the available unrestricted free agents.

Lavoy Allen
6-foot-9, 260 lbs
Age: 28
Experience: 6 years
2016-17 stats: 2.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Former team: Pacers

Overview: Celtics fans may remember Allen from an impressive showing during the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals when he held his own as a rookie for the Sixers against Kevin Garnett for extended minutes. Unfortunately, Allen’s NBA career has not progressed much since that postseason. The Temple product has split time in his career between the Sixers and Pacers, mostly as a reserve big man, before the Pacers declined his $4.3 million option for next season.