Why the Boston Celtics Need to Bring Back Nenad Krstić to the NBA in 2011-12

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IOctober 10, 2011

Nenad Krstić.
Nenad Krstić.Elsa/Getty Images

Nenad Krstić spent the 2010-11 NBA season splitting time between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Boston Celtics. Due to the uncertainty of there being a 2011-12 NBA season, he signed a two-year deal with CSKA Moscow worth an estimated $8.2M ($6M Euros).

However, Krstić has a buyout option after each year of his contract which would allow him to return to the NBA if he chose to do so. The terms of buying out his CSKA contract would be a reported $1M, and the article also explains NBA rules regarding how much money an NBA team can pay towards a player that is in the midst of another contract.

Krstić was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 NBA Draft even though he did not make his NBA debut right away. Krstić made his NBA debut at the beginning of the 2004-05 season averaging 10.0 points and 5.3 rebounds while appearing in 75 games (including 51 starts) with the Nets.

He went on to average 13.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game during the 2005-06 while appearing in 80 games (including all starts) that year.

However, Krstić suffered a knee injury during the 2006-07 NBA season that caused his performance to fall across the board. He was never the same player, but still a reliable center that could rebound and shoot the occasional jumpers when needed.

Krstić signed a three-year offer sheet with the Oklahoma City Thunder after signing a contract with a Russian team during the summer of 2008. The Nets had seven days to match the offer, but did not match the offer allowing Krstić joining the Thunder officially in December of 2008.

Krstić was one of the veteran players on the Thunder roster. He did average 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds during his first year with the team. During the 2009-10 NBA season and his first full season with the team, Krstić averaged 8.4 points, and 5.0 rebounds per game while appearing in 76 games (including all starts).

Krstić with Oklahoma City.
Krstić with Oklahoma City.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After spending 47 games with the Thunder during the 2010-11 NBA season, Krstić was traded to the Boston Celtics on February 24, 2011 along with Jeff Green and a 2012 first-round draft pick in exchange for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson.

With the Boston Celtics, Krstić averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while appearing in 24 games (including 20 starts) during the regular season. In the playoffs, Krstić was not seen averaging only 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in seven games.

The reason Krstić was valuable for the Celtics in terms of adding height to their frontcourt especially after the team traded Kendrick Perkins. Even though he has not been the same player since his knee injury, Krstić is a reliable enough center that can be an asset to a team needing help in the frontcourt.

The Boston Celtics, who dealt with numerous injuries to veterans Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal, turned to Krstić.

Now that Shaquille O’Neal has retired, the team could look to bring back Krstić in order to shore up their frontcourt to get ready for another championship run.