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Celtics Morning Joe: Wilcox a key factor

Posted by shawn cassidy on July 14, 2012 at 7:20 AM

Chris Wilcox, who had surgery to correct an enlarged aorta last February, agreed to a one-year contract for what is believed to be a veteran’s minimum contract.Wilcox, who was cleared for full contact and basketball activity just over a week ago, is expected to be ready for training camp in late September.

It was a big shock last year losing Wilcox out of nowhere, and it was weird because Jeff Green had a heart issue that cost him the season as well. Wilcox was a must for the Celtics for a few reasons. His working relationship is strong with Rondo. Wilcox surprised  me on how good he was running the floor with Rondo. Wilcox can score, and their is no question about that. The question I have is will he start, or is their another move that Danny will work on.

It's great to see Wilcox back, because it was such a scary time in his life, and I'm sure he had doubts if he could return or not.

“The doctors say I’m cleared for everything,” Wilcox said. “I’m working out, running, playing 5-on-5. I’m doing everything. I just can’t do any heavy lifting just yet.”

Wilcox lost approximately 20 pounds following surgery, but said he has gained most of that back.

“I’m just trying to get healthy right now,” he said. “Right now I’m just trying to get my wind back.”


 Wilcox ended the season with  (5.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg). Chris  had developed a nice flow with the Celtics. Of all the Celtics big men, he had become the most adept at running the floor with Rajon Rondo , and was also one of their best rebounders and interior defenders.

Without Wilcox, the Celtics were forced to turn to a diet of Greg Stiemsma and Ryan Hollins when it was time to give Kevin Garnett a break during the playoffs. Kevin in turn became the starting center, because JO was gone, and Wilcox was done soon after.

I think because we get a full camp, the Celtics will be able to gel more this season, and especially with Wilcox,Terry, and Green coming back. I hope that Bradley can go through camp as well. I think Rondo, and Wilcox will put together some nice games this season.



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Reply Morena
8:11 AM on July 14, 2012 
Training camp will be extremely important!! I can't wait to see this guys play together next season!!
Reply paul
8:17 AM on July 14, 2012 
He can rebound some too
Reply Franklin
8:36 AM on July 14, 2012 
I'm just glad Danny saw how importang he was to the team,again nice call Danny.
Reply Birdman33
8:37 AM on July 14, 2012 
Wilcox back is a low signing, that will payoff big.
Reply dennee
8:08 PM on July 14, 2012 
To answer your question, "will he start," the answer is no. As the roster is constituted now and with the probable signings, Garnett has to be the starting center. At this point, Stiesma is not signed and might well not be, and Melo is not ready to be either a starter or a reliable back up if Wilcox started. I have read a couple of places where Sullinger may get some time at center. That may be interesting. The last time that I remember a center being only 6'9" and making an impact was Moses Malone.
Will Danny make another move at center? I believe he would like to, but the options are not real good. Of the dwindling free agent centers, most won't fit under the cap or are not anything special. I heard Darko Milicic was cut loose by the Timberwolves and might agree to a vet minimum, but he is mostly just a placeholder.
Your figures for Wilcox last season are accurate, but I don't think paint a clear picture of his ability. He started his career (3 yrs) with a not very good Clippers team and before coming to the Celts had a split season with the Knicks/ Thunder and 2 seasons with Detroit. None of these teams at the time he was there were anything special and he still averaged 4-8 points and 4-5 rebounds. BUT, he also played in Seattle from 05-07 and there he averaged 13-14 points and 7-8 rebounds. The first 2 years there was with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, the final with rookie Jeff Green.
His heart condition was actually diagnosed early in his career, but did not become bad enough for surgery until last year, so we don't really know how much that might have held him back.
The point is, I don't think we realize how good Wilcox can possibly be with his health and once again being surrounded by some really good teammates. Rondo was perfect for helping to find the true quality that's been overlooked elsewhere. This time next year, I would not be surprised if we are all blogging about needing to re-sign Wilcox to a long term contract. He will only have just turned 30 when the season starts.
Reply dennee
8:47 PM on July 14, 2012 
I did not see it until after my other reply that Charlotte won the waiver bid for Brendan Haywood. I bring this up since Shawn asked will Danny work on another move at center. Thinking outside the box, the times that I got to see Byron Mullens play, I was pretty impressed. He was good at Ohio State, got zero playing time in OKC, but averaged 9 points and 5 rebounds, almost 1 block and 1 assist in only 22 minutes for the Bobcats. Plus he is a seven footer. His small salary might make him attractive and would be almost an even trade for Johnson. I like JJJ but we still need help at center and have depth at PF to make JJJ expendable.