The Boston Celtics have gone to great lengths to sign free agents this year, with one of the bigger stories being Gordon Hayward. But the Celtics are not done improving their team yet, as they have signed three young talents, thrusting them into the spotlight. These moves may prove to be the edge that the team is looking for to push them higher in the East.
Last year, the Celtics selected Ante Zizic in the first round at pick number 23. After Zizic was drafted, he went to play overseas for the Darussafaka Dogus. Since claiming countless Player of the Month awards for his team, he was invited back to Boston by the organization. He will provide a much-needed interior presence and can take over Amir Johnson’s spot as the team’s premier rim protector. Though Zizic has not officially signed his contract, he has verbally agreed and will likely sign after free agency so the team can utilize their cap space.
In 2013, power forward/center Daniel Theis went undrafted in the draft and elected to make his living playing basketball overseas in his home country of Germany. Since leaving for Western Europe, he has played for four teams and is a three-time German League champion, adding a best defensive player honour to boot. The 25-year-old has reportedly signed his contract, which would include an unknown amount of money in exchange for two years of his services.
German forward Daniel Theis has agreed to a two-year deal with the Boston Celtics.
In what some fans thought was a surprising move, the Celtics also signed forward Abdel Nader to a four-year, $6 million contract. The 23-year-old, American-Egyptian forward was drafted 58th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft and has spent the past season with Boston’s NBA D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. There he won the league’s Rookie of the Year award and averaged 21 points a game with six rebounds and 3.9 assists. He can make an instant impact as a player that can both score and defend the rim, just what Boston has been looking for based on their other signings.
All in all, Boston fans should be happy about the moves their franchise have been making. The organization is clearly trying to bring in players that can make a difference fast, as to push them in better contention with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. With these signings, the Celtic’s front office is showing that they are willing to bring in young talent if it means they can improve their roster. The only thing Celtics fans can do is hope that these signings will translate into wins.