5 Players That Could Save the Celtics Season

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The Celtics lost to Houston on Sunday, their 5th loss in 6 games since the NBA All-Star break (Credit: Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

The Celtics are in a funk.

After losing to Houston yesterday, the Celtics are now 1-5 following the All-Star break, and things aren’t clicking.  Although I am not the first, nor the last, may I just say this: please bench Marcus Morris, and please put Jaylen Brown into the starting lineup.  I would also recommend putting Aaron Baynes in the starting lineup over Marcus Smart just so the starting lineup has size, but one step at a time.

This column is about roster spot number 15

Last Friday was the last day teams could waive players and have them still be eligible for the playoffs if they were to sign with a new team; anyone who was a free agent by that point can play in the playoffs elsewhere.

As we know, the Celtics already have a problem with the players they have and the right mix of playing time, so no, there’s not anyone they would sign that would play a big role… but that doesn’t mean they can’t sign someone with that spot to serve as a de facto coach, or a cheerleader.  Call it what you want, but it’s been done before (see: Kendrick Perkins), and maybe the Celtics need a veteran to just yell at everyone here, and slap some sense into the team.

Hey, if you’ve got any better ideas, please, go ahead, because nothing else seems to be working.

I’ve narrowed down my list to 5 players.

5. Jarrett Jack

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Jarrett Jack and Steph Curry were teammates for the 2012-2013 season (Credit: Jennifer Stewart/USA TODAY Sports)

Jarrett Jack is an NBA journeyman if there ever was one.  He has made 9 stops with 8 different teams since entering the NBA in 2005, and he’s seen it all.  He has been teammates with Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, and many more.

“You can’t find many people that Jack don’t know. Everybody loves him”

-Draymond Green on Jarrett Jack

Last March, Bleacher Report wrote a piece about Jarrett Jack and his outreach in the league, and surprisingly, he has the ear of a lot of players.  Just the other day, Jack signed a G-League contract, which makes him eligible to be claimed by an NBA team for the playoffs, so he has hopes of being around this season.  If the Celtics want a vet who’s been around the block, and can be a sounding board for the good and bad of the NBA, Jack would be an intriguing option.  Hey, who knows, maybe he can play a few minutes at PG instead of Terry Rozier.

4. Tony Allen

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Tony Allen played in Boston from 2004 to 2010, winning a title with the team in 2008 (Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images Sport)

I’ve wanted Tony Allen to come back for years.  He was like Marcus Smart before Marcus Smart, and at his peak he was one of the best defenders in the NBA (he made an NBA All-Defensive teams six times during his 7 years in Memphis).  Allen last played a year ago with New Orleans, but he has loads of playoff experience, with 112 postseason games under his belt, which includes three conference finals appearances and two trips to the NBA Finals.

Allen is 37, so he’s not going to be harking for minutes, but during his years in Memphis and Boston, he played on tough and defensive-minded teams who put the team first, something this current Celtics team is apparently lacking.  He knows what it takes to win in Boston, and he knows what it’s like to win in general, and just how hard that can be.

3. Shane Larkin

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Shane Larkin played some of the best basketball in his career with Boston last season as the third-string PG (Credit: Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

Who doesn’t miss Shane Larkin?  Larkin has had a strange career, but last season he was an admirable backup point guard option, playing behind Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier.  His role has been replaced by Brad Wanamaker this season, but I’m gonna be honest, I don’t think anyone would notice if Brad Wanamaker suddenly stopped playing (he’s only appeared in 27 games this season at 9.3 MPG).

Terry Rozier has not been good for the Celtics as of late, and I think anyone getting more minutes at PG than him is a great idea.  If it’s Wanamaker, I’m all for it (yes, I know, that’s the more likely option), but why not sign someone familiar with this current group, and someone who was rather good playing in a limited role just a year ago? Last season seems like forever ago, but maybe bringing back Shane (who’s currently an NBA free agent, but is playing in Turkey) would mean bringing back what was good about that C’s team.

2. Carmelo Anthony

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How many other 10-time All-Stars and 3-time Olympic Gold Medal champions are ready to be signed for a playoff run? Exactly (Credit: via Dead Seriousness)

Carmelo Anthony is one of the best scorers of his generation, a legend that seems to be misunderstood.  Look how good he was in Denver! How was he supposed to work in Houston when the coach was Mike D’Antoni, the same man who could do nothing to utilize his talent in New York!? Imagine how good the Thunder would be right now if they had Melo too!?

Okay, I’m kidding.  Kyrie Irving floated around the idea in November that the Celtics needed a 14- or 15-year veteran, and… well Melo is…

I agree with the Mick Man’s take on this one: sign Melo to scare everyone else to death to get their shit together.  Kyrie can see what it’s like to be a star in New York, Mook can see what it’s like to play like he is all the time, and Tatum and Jaylen can see what happens if you become an egotistical, greedy, me first player, and NEVER EVER EVER become that.

You’re telling me there’s a BETTER option than this?

1. Kendrick Perkins

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Kendrick Perkins is another member of the 2008 Boston Celtics, and also has other NBA Finals runs under his belt (Credit: CBS Boston)

PERK BABY!

Why am I suggesting Kendrick Perkins as the number 1 option for the role of “you will not play, but your job is to sit on the bench and knock some sense into the rest of the team”? Because he did the exact same thing last season.

A year ago, Perkins was getting some run in the G-League with the Cavs’ affiliate, but in February decided to retire.  However, in April he was signed by Cleveland for their upcoming playoff run.

Perkins played 15 minutes in the final game of the regular season, his first game in two years, and proceeded to play zero (0) minutes in the playoffs.  I don’t think he minded.

Last November, Perkins told reporters while in Boston he’d like to come back to Boston, and with the way this team’s morale has been, honestly, I think it’s a great idea.  Perkins has reached the conference finals 7 times, and the NBA Finals 5 times.  He was a member of the 2008 Boston Celtics, and has seen first hand what it takes to win in this league.  The Cavs trusted him last season on a team that was basically reconstructed at the trade deadline as someone who could provide wisdom, and for this young group, Perkins could absolutely be a similar voice of reason.

He wants to come back to the team he spent his first 7+ years in the NBA with, and we’d love to see him back.  There’s zero risk, and he’s done it before.  Why not again in Boston?


Follow Nick on Twitter (@Nick_Collins14)

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