NBA Rumors: Exploring one free agent that would make the most sense for every team in the Atlantic division.
We are drawing closer to the middle of the NBA season and we are starting to get a feel for what teams are doing well and what they're struggling with. For some teams, there is not much work to be done, such as the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves, who each lead their respective conferences and are playing exceptionally well.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are teams that have lots of holes to fill - we are looking at you Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons. Whether the lift is heavy or not, every team in the NBA will attempt to improve their roster throughout the 82-game season. And while a mid-season free agent pickup might not necessarily turn your team's fortune around and into NBA championship contenders, it never hurts to get better.
As we begin to explore the best available free-agent fit for every team in the NBA, we'll start by taking a closer look at each team in the Atlantic division. Let's dive in.
Boston Celtics: Hamidou Diallo, G/F
The Boston Celtics need another big. The Celtics are too thin at guard. The Jays (Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) can handle the wing minutes. Sam Hauser is a rotational gem. Yeah yeah yeah... I hear you. Listen. As of right now, this team doesn't need much. And as of now, this Celtics team is healthy, so that will weigh heavily into the decision that is to choose Hamidou Diallo here.
This might sound preposterous to some, but hear me out. The Celtics are currently the third-best rebounding team in the NBA, blocking the 4th most shots in the NBA, and making the most 3-pointers per game in the NBA.
All of this is to say, the Celtics have a lot of things taken care of. Something every team in the NBA never can have enough of is perimeter defense, especially in the regular season when lineups are deeper than those in the playoffs.
Enter Hamidou Diallo: a 25-year-old, 6-foot-5 wing with a 6-foot-11 wingspan. Diallo is a tenacious perimeter defender. He is essentially who Jordan Walsh (the Boston Celtics 2023, 38th overall pick) could be if he were already developed enough to play in the NBA. Why not take a flyer on this kid, then? He would give the Jays more rest minutes in the regular season which could pay off major dividends by the end of the season.
**In a whiny voice** "But Diallo can't shoot threes." To that, I say, "Boo-hoo." Who cares. At this point, the Celtics don't need a difference maker, they need light depth. Diallo is a plug-and-play wing who can play with anyone on the Celtics' current roster. He doesn't need the ball in his hands, can utilize his slashing and cutting skills while the rest of the team plays around the perimeter and he will give hustle and defend at a high level.
Low-risk, high-reward if they look to go in this direction, which I hope they do.