After a week of speculation and paperwork, the Boston Celtics announced that they finally have signed 6’9″ forward D.J. White to a 10-day contract. Delays in release forms processed with the Chinese basketball league where White played this season prevented the deal from being struck with the former Charlotte Bobcat.
White brings some needed size to a depleted Celtics frontcourt, joining Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox. A 2008 first round draft pick (28th overall) by the Detroit Pistons, White has averaged 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds over three NBA campaigns. While his per game averages are not overly impressive, his 36-minute projected stats are. Over the course of his 124 games played, White has a projected stat line of 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds over a 36 minute per game span. Compare that to some of the incumbent Celtics and you can see how a player like White may perform if he plays extended minutes:
D.J. White: 14.0 points – 7.5 rebounds – 1.4 assists – .507 FG% – .730 FT%
Jeff Green: 15.4 points – 4.8 rebounds – 1.5 assists – .452 FG% – .822 FT%
Brandon Bass: 10.4 points – 6.7 rebounds – 1.2 assists – .450 FG% – .838 FT%
Chris Wilcox: 12.2 points – 7.2 rebounds – 0.7 assists – .698 FG% – .703 FT%
Kevin Garnet: 17.9 points – 9.2 rebounrd – 2.7 assists – .500 FG% – .780 FT%
Before anyone jumps to conclusions, statistics can be very misleading. According to this comparison, White would be the second best big man on the Celtics roster. While the jury is out on the new power forward, at least a player with NBA experience is in place to halp out on a nightly basis.
The signing of White brings the Celtics contractural obligations to 14 players, meaining the team still has the option of adding another body to the roster if a need arises. With Terrence WIlliams (10-day contract) and Jordan Crawford (Atlanta Hawks trade) joining White among the newcomers to Celtic Nation, head coach Doc Rivers will have his hands full finding opportunities to incorporate the arrivals into his tight but tired rotation.
Williams, a 6-6 swingman was also a signee from China, also penning a 10-day contract himself. It is expected based on his play to date, a pro-rated full minimum contract for the balance of this season will be agreed to with Williams, but the team is more than happy with the non-guaranteed approach of consecutive 10-day deals before guaranteeing his salary for the season. The same is likely to be the case for White.
While the Celtics roster appears to be rounding into its final form, the team prepares for a 25-game sprint for a solid playoff seed. Even if Williams, Crawford and White do not fill up a game boxscore every night, the rest they will provide for aged veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry is immeasurable. For the Boston Celtics to have a fighting chance in the second season, the aforementioned trio will need to have their minutes closely monitored. Having this new trio in place provides Doc Rivers ample bodies to do just that.
Senior Contributor – TitleTown Sports
Co-Host of “The Jungle” at TitleTown Sports Radio Network