The Celtics are entering free agency in a sweet spot as they must once again compete for the title next season. But with free agency opening at 6 p.m. Friday in the NBA, the C’s still have a few areas they can bolster their roster. They don’t need to overhaul the team by any means, but adding depth chops can go a long way through the regular season and then the playoffs.
The C legend and Hall of Famer, who spoke to NBC Sports Boston, had a few names in mind that the C could target for free agency: big man Montrezl Harrell and former Celtics winger Jeff Green.
“Montrezel Harrell was that shitty player I’ve seen as a free agent that you can probably get for little money,” Maxwell said. You have the most beautiful seat in the world. What you have is Mr. Clean right there with the Celtics bench. I want someone who is a little dirty, a little dirty, and a little brave. He’s one of those few guys I’ve seen who can come in, he won’t need the minutes and he’ll be very valuable to this team.”
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Harrell, 29, has bounced around the NBA since his Clippers days, including when he was named the league’s Sixth Man of the Year for the 2019-20 season. Playing for the 76ers last season, Harrell backed up Joel Embiid, putting up averages of 5.6 points and 2.8 per game. The C’s were interested in Harrell last summer, but the big guy told MassLive last October that the fit didn’t work out in Boston.
Now, the Celtics are looking to cement their big man’s depth behind their three-man rotation of Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford and Robert Williams III. Given the injury histories of Williams and Porzingis, along with Horford’s 37-year-old, the Celtics will likely be looking for a big man who can play productive minutes in the regular season. Harrell could be that guy, though it’s unclear if the big guy wants to pursue a different opportunity that comes with more playing time.
As for the other player Maxwell referred to, Green earned his first NBA championship with the Nuggets last season. Green, 36, contributed to the Nuggets’ playoff run, playing 56 games last season, averaging 7.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. He could be a veteran sound in the locker room, though Denver could look at bringing back the winger. If Green ends up with the Celtics, it will be a reunion as he played for Boston in 222 games from 2010 to 2015.
“If you can get Jeff Green to come, the older Jeff Green will come,” said Maxwell. “Jeff Green was great playing Denver off the bench and being able to shoot the basketball and attack the rim.”