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HomeSports‘We Need You’: Veteran 7-Footer Named No. 1 Celtics Buyout Target

‘We Need You’: Veteran 7-Footer Named No. 1 Celtics Buyout Target


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Mason Plumlee #24 of the Charlotte Hornets battles Robin Lopez #33 of the Orlando Magic for a rebound.

Even after a highly active trade deadline and the re-additions of Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet, the Boston Celtics still have some added roster space to work with. This means the C’s could theoretically factor into the buyout market as a way to further bolster a unit that has ripped off seven consecutive wins.

So which buyout candidates may Boston have their eye on? Well, if former Celtics champion Brian Scalabrine was calling the shots, he certainly knows who he’d prioritize on the market.

“My number one in the buyout market, Robin Lopez,” Scalabrine said on February 10, via NBC Sports Boston. “I know he spent so much time down at Walt Disney World, I know he likes Mickey Mouse and all that, but come to Boston and you can do your thing up here. We need you for many different reasons.”

Lopez, 33, is a well-traveled veteran who has played for seven teams over his 14-year NBA career. A seven-footer currently averaging 7.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game with the Magic this season, Lopez would be a welcomed addition for nearly any playoff contender. Of course, teams such as the Bulls and Bucks jump out as obvious suitors due to their previous ties to the Stanford product. Still, Boston could undoubtedly benefit from his size and veteran savviness in their frontcourt.

Inked to a one-year, $5 million contract with the Magic, Lopez is averaging 17.7 minutes per game this season — his second-fewest in a campaign since 2011. With Orlando owning the league’s second-worst record, the organization is focused mainly on developing their young pieces, which makes Lopez a primary buyout candidate.

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The Joel Embiid Stopper?

Well, maybe more like get in the way.

Either way, if the Celtics want to make a deep run in the postseason, chances are they’ll need to go through the Philadelphia 76ers and their MVP-caliber big man.

“I really believe like a Lopez, [Derrick] Favors, and I’m even fine having Tacko Fall and training him,” Scalabrine said. “He wakes up every morning, looks at Embiid, he works out. When they go to the film, Tacko goes to another room and watches Joel Embiid. I would be fine with all three of those guys. Against Embiid, you need specialists. You need a guy just to spell him for like 10 minutes in a game. Maybe six minutes in the first half wear Embiid out and four minutes in the second half.”

For what it’s worth, the Celtics did recently reunite with big man Daniel Theis, re-acquiring the former starter in a trade that sent Dennis Schroder to Houston. Theis started 152 of his final 172 games as a member of the Cs before being dealt to Chicago at last year’s deadline. Now back in Beantown, he’ll likely slide into a reserve role behind the likes of Al Horford and the surging Robert Williams. Still, you can never have enough size at your disposal, and should a player of Lopez’s caliber become available in the coming days, chances are Brad Stevens and the team will do their due diligence.

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