Celtic fans having been hoping for a big shoe to drop, but the truth is that was never going to happen due to the position they're in regarding their roster. The Celtics are getting better, no question, but they aren't competing for titles yet and All-Star veteran free agents know this, so they set their sites elsewhere. What Boston has decided to do is smart- be aggressive with second tier free agents and sign them to flexible contracts. They accomplished this with the signing of power forward Amir Johnson, a player that won't light up the stat column but will play winning basketball. Johnson agreed to a two year deal worth $24 million, but year two of the deal is not guaranteed; that could become a valuable trade asset for Boston.
Johnson, who is entering his 11th season, was a member of the final class that allowed high school seniors to declare for the draft. Johnson spent four years in Detroit, but he didn't fit into what the Pistons were trying to do. Johnson then went to Toronto, where he has played well for the last six seasons. His first year in Toronto was a learning experience, but Johnson made the leap from 15-minute-a-game rotation player to 28-minutes-per game starter. Johnson was given more minutes and his production, plus the teams play, improved.
Many will point to the fact that Amir Johnson has never averaged double digit rebounds and he scores less than 10 points a game, but he does everything well. Johnson is great in the pick-and-roll, which is going to come in handy with Isaiah Thomas and rookie guard Terry Rozier, and he also knows how to defend the power forward position, something that can't be said for any other power forwards on the roster. The Celtics didn't go out and make a huge move, but they did address an area of need and did it with a contract that looks very tradable. It's time to accumulate real assets- good, young players.