Nenad Krstic came to Boston as part of the Kendrick Perkins trade. He seemed to have an easier time adjusting to his role with the Celtics than Jeff Green did, but then his production dipped and by the end of the playoffs Krstic had decided he’d had enough. He signed a two-year deal with a Russian team, banking a cool $8 million salary in the process, and that was the end of that. No Nenad last season, and we certainly could have used him. Forget that he plays soft. At least he would have been on the court. That’s more than we could say for Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox, for various reasons.
Well, it turns out that Krstic may be able to void the final year of his contract and return to the NBA if he so chooses. He would be property of our Boston Celtics. You have to wonder if Krstic has crossed Ainge’s mind, and whether Ainge would consider adding Krstic to the mix. Depending on who Ainge pursues in free agency, the Celtics should have Greg Stiemsma, Fab Melo and possibly Chris Wilcox as bigs who could man the five spot. Ainge will need to make a decision on Ryan Hollins as well. Depending on the direction he decides to go, Krstic could potentially come back to Boston for the 2012-13 season.
“So here’s what happened with Krstic,” Danny Ainge said at the time. “Krstic played great when he first got here, and then he hit a slump. He wasn’t playing well for a while, and then he got hurt,” Ainge said after the season. “He had the bruised knee — we were worried that it (was) something worse. With all of the injuries, it seemed like whoever was playing center for us this year got hurt. So he got hurt and he never really got his starting job back after he got hurt, and then he got hurt again on a different knee. He had two bruised knees.”
Apparently Krstic is healthy and available if the price is right. But that remains to be seen. Ainge would need to express an interest in the Serb, and Krstic would need to void his contract with the Russian team and return to play for less money. It’s an interesting thought, but there are other pieces in play at the moment and Ainge will need to address those first. The Krstic option will be there if and when Ainge decides to pursue it.