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Rapid reaction: C's set to add McGee

A handful of thoughts with the Boston Celtics set to sign free-agent center JaVale McGee:

Position of need: The Celtics have been undersized for most of the year, but the season-ending foot injury to Jared Sullinger last month left Boston particularly small. Boston got 7-footer Kelly Olynyk back Wednesday after an 18-game absence due to an ankle sprain, but in adding McGee they bring in a 7-footer who can disturb shots around the basket with the his length and athleticism. As Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge noted Wednesday, "JaVale is a long, athletic guy and we don't have that type of player -- an above-the-rim offensive and defensive player." But ...

Defense must improve: McGee has all the physical tools, but it hasn't always translated on the court. In six appearances for the Sixers last month, opponents shot 75 percent (6-of-8 overall) inside of 6 feet, according to the league's player-tracking data. McGee is still working his way back after missing almost all of the 2013-14 season because of a stress fracture in his left tibia, but his playing time in Boston will be dictated by how much he's willing to commit himself to tapping his full potential. He was among the NBA leaders in blocked shots from 2010-2013, leading the league in block percentage in 2010-11 (and finishing second a year later). Combine that with efficient scoring and -- if Brad Stevens can harness his abilities -- there's potential here.

Low risk, high reward: While we wait for the contract specifics -- Boston had the salary flexibility to outbid some legitimate contenders this season -- it's likely that the Celtics got McGee on a cost-efficient deal that will keep him here next season. Boston has never been afraid to take a flier on a reclamation project and Stevens has gotten the most out of guys such as Jordan Crawford and Evan Turner by putting them in position to maximize their talents. Putting McGee on the floor with an up-tempo, shooting-filled second unit could lead to positive results near the basket. If nothing else, McGee has potential to be an upgrade over what Boston has had for big men at the end of the bench this season.

A new team record: When McGee makes his debut for the Celtics, Boston will set a franchise record by utilizing 23 different players in games in one season. McGee will be Boston's 41st roster player this season for a team that has made 11 trades and a never-ending stream of roster tweaks. In order to add McGee, the Celtics will have to waive a player as they sit at the 15-man limit. The most likely candidate would seemingly be Shavlik Randolph, who was inactive for Wednesday's game with the return of Olynyk. Randolph is in the final year of a minimum contract.

Final thoughts: McGee is still only 27 years old. He's been mocked for some head-scratching on-court activities, but the Celtics will put him in a situation where he'll either conform and try to maximize his potential, or continue his journey. And it's that word "potential" that we can't stop using with McGee. He can potentially help this team on a potential playoff push if he embraces his potential.

[Update: And as talks with McGree break down over who controls the 2015-16 option on his contract, this is all for naught]