Feb
23
2021

The Celtics should dump Semi Ojeleye

The Celtics need to make some moves. Things aren’t going so well this year. Instead of competing with Philly and the Nets, they are barely ahead of the Knicks.

For the last several years, Boston has had too many decent players. We’ve gotten a million draft picks, and so we’ve had lots of players that require minutes and time to see if they’re any good. It’s time to start make those tough decisions and thinning the herd.

Semi Ojeleye is a decent player. He plays strong defense, hits some 3s, and doesn’t mess up much. But he also has no real upside. After four seasons with the Celtics, he isn’t going to show you anything new. Standing around the perimeter and making a good pass or shot is not enough. Can’t or won’t drive, can’t or won’t dribble towards the basket.

When you’re thinking about trade pieces, you should be thinking about upside. Not just who is good (Taytum Brown Smart are untouchable), but who might get better. When you think about it this way, Semi is done.

Trade pieces (in vague order of ‘dump him’ to ‘well, if we have to’):

  • Semi Ojeleye: Will never be better for the Celtics.
  • Jeff Teague: I love Jeff Teague, but it turns out I love the Jeff Teague of several years ago. He’s toast. Only problem is, who would take him?
  • Carsen Edwards: He got his chances, never showed much. Sorry Carsen, it’s just not working out.
  • Romeo Langford: He got his chances, never showed much. Sorry Romeo, time to move on.
  • Tristan Thompson: I love the guy, but like Teague, my impressions are of the Tristan Thompson of past years. Especially because Robert Williams is suddenly realizing his potential, we can afford to lose Thompson. Thompson is a great complementary piece, but I’d be willing to see him go, and we can get a good price.
  • Kemba Walker: I love the guy. And he’s a very good player. But a couple seasons in, I don’t think he’ll every be the great player we need for a point guard. He is still highly valued around the league and we can get a good price for him. Of note, Kemba didn’t lead the team in assists per game last year (that was Marcus Smart) or this year (Smart and Taytum). I want a point guard who make other players better with assists. I want a point guard who doesn’t set up endless plays of Brown and Taytum isolations (even though that mostly works). I want a point guard who doesn’t have to be hidden on defense.  (By the way, can you believe that James Harden is leading the league in assists right now? By a healthy margin, at 11.1 a game.)
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