The Boston Celtics have signed free agent forward Lamar Stevens to a reportedly one-year, partially guaranteed contract.
Free agent G/F Lamar Stevens has agreed to a deal with the Boston Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Stevens established himself as a defensive presence for the Cavs, starting in 25 of 62 games last season. Agent Scott Nichols completed deal with Celtics officials.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2023
What does Stevens bring to Boston? Plus, how much can he contribute to the Celtics right away?
The Boston Celtics Sign Lamar Stevens With Their Last Roster Spot
Stevens has spent his entire three-year career with the Cleveland Cavaliers after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2020.
Last season, he played in 62 games and started 25 of them. Stevens averaged 5.3 PPG and 3.3 RPG on 44.8 FG%.
He also appeared in Games 3 and 5 against the New York Knicks last postseason but had a minimal role.
Stevens averages 5.3 PPG and 2.8 RPG while shooting 46.7% from the field for his career.
His highest-scoring game came in 2022 during a 111-91 win against the Utah Jazz. The Penn State alum scored 23 points on 66.7 FG%. Stevens also recorded seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the win.
The Cavaliers traded Stevens to the San Antonio Spurs in July this year. San Antonio waived the forward on July 17.
At six-foot-six, Stevens has made a solid career so far as a defensive specialist. Additionally, his three-point shooting has improved each year as well.
How Does Stevens Fit With the Celtics?
The Celtics lost Grant Williams to the Dallas Mavericks this offseason. On top of that, the team also traded Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies. After their departures, a need for more defensive specialists on the team became prominent.
Was told the Celtics expressed to Lamar Stevens that they're hoping he can bring some of the grit and toughness that was lost following the departures of Marcus Smart and Grant Williams.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) September 22, 2023
Walsh showed out in Summer League, and Brissett is having a solid four-year career up to this point. However, neither is guaranteed to be in the rotation.
For the team to use their final roster spot on Stevens suggests they like his defensive presence enough to add him to the competition. Plus, with his serviceable offense, he could be a more immediate contributor than Walsh.
The Last Word on Stevens Signing With the Celtics
Of all the forwards the Celtics brought in for a workout in August, Stevens was the best option to sign. He is still young at only 26 years old and plays top-tier defense.
With training camp right around the corner, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact Stevens can have on the team. He likely won’t get a ton of minutes, especially come playoff time, but he fits the mold as an energy guy, especially on defense. His hustle and defensive abilities can be a game-changer for the Celtics.
Last season, there was a lot of emphasis on the team’s offense, and it looks like this season may be the complete opposite. Next to guys like Tatum and Brown, Stevens could grow into a solid role player in the frontcourt, but only time will tell.