Veteran big man Joel Anthony will play another season with the Boston Celtics. According to a report by NESN Tuesday, Anthony has decided to opt in for the final year of his contract with the Celtics. In doing so, he is set to make $3.8 million.
The product of UNLV came over to the Celtics from the Miami Heat as part of a three-team deal in January. He only averaged 7.1 minutes per game in his brief time with the Celtics last season. The 31-year-old Anthony played a solid backup role with the Heat, but after joining the Celtics, his minutes dwindled even more due to the youth movement in Boston.
During his time with the Celtics, Anthony averaged 1.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game. It is his veteran leadership that may be of most value to the Celtics. Anthony opting in could benefit the Celtics and won’t necessarily mean that he will actually play this season. He will carry an expiring contract that could be of value in a trade. His defense, hustle, as well as his veteran leadership can help a team in position to contend for a championship.
The move also comes just a couple of days before the draft, which might mean that Danny Ainge is preparing to make a couple of moves and wants all his pieces in place. An expiring contract could be of value to a team like the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are preparing to make a free-agent bid for Carmelo Anthony and also LeBron James, who opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat. There have been constant rumors about the Celtics possibly acquiring Rockets center Omer Asik to clear some cap space.
The only way Joel Anthony would be a value to the Celtics roster is if they make a splash via trade or free agency and become an instant contender. In his seven-year career he has averaged 5.2 points per game, but it is his defense, rebounding and intensity that has kept him in the league.