Celtics Free Agency Preview
Here we go. Free agency is about to kick off and guess who is caught in all the action? That’s right, the Celtics have seemed to consume most of the headlines for the past couple of years. From the Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, and LaMarcus Aldridge failed sweepstakes, to the current Paul George and Jimmy Butler rumors, Celtics fans are used to false hope. According to Bleacher Report, the Celtics are expected to sign Kevin Durant, Gordon Hayward, and trade for Anthony Davis, Kristaps Porzingis, and Paul George. No offense to them, but it seems like every other day there are new reports of a trade rumor for a top tier player that will never happen.
Although the C’s just finished 1st in the East, Ainge and the fans don’t want to stop there. If Danny doesn’t reel in a Paul George, Gordon Hayward, or Blake Griffin, then it will be a serious disappointment for the city of Boston, and that’s just how Boston fans are. When midnight strikes, all the fun will start.
Current Celtics FA
Most of the C’s free agents such as Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko are expected to be let go to free up cap space. If Danny is serious about pursuing a top tier FA, then there is no way he will extend Amir’s or Jonas’s contract. The Celtics gave Kelly a qualifying offer which can be rescinded if they need to free up more cap space. The Celtics are also supposed to let go of Gerald Green and James Young.
The bromance between Brad and Gordon is definitely intriguing here and is probably the best reason for why these Gordon Hayward rumors started. Hayward seems to be the most likely star FA to sign with the C’s, but it won’t be easy to lure him away from Utah. Gordon is a fan favorite as seen here when middle schoolers took their time to beg their favorite player to stay with the Jazz http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865683868/Utah-middle-schoolers-write-letters-to-Gordon-Hayward-asking-him-to-stay-with-the-Jazz.html.
If Danny makes this happen, it will certainly point the Celtics in the right direction for the future with a Big 3 of IT, Hayward, and Horford.
Griffin makes the least sense out of all the potential FA targets. Only 28, Griffin has spent a lot of time on the DL, and that is the last thing the Celtics need hanging over their head. Blake is the Celtics “Plan B” where he is the Clippers and Suns “Plan A”. There isn’t a doubt that the Celtics could use a player like Griffin, but it just doesn’t seem to make much sense here.
PG13 is arguably the best player that the Celtics can possibly acquire this summer. But, he’s probably the least likely option simply because of the fact that he can only be acquired through a trade. Danny is hesitant and less willing to give up his future picks and current players than to sign a big name free agent. If you were in Ainge’s shoes would you trade Crowder, the 2018 Lakers pick and the 2019 Clippers or 2019 Grizzlies pick for a 1-year player? If PG13 decides not to resign the Celtics, then any trade will ultimately be a disappointment.
What’s Next if The C’s Fail to sign one of the Stars?
If the C’s fail to lure in one of the stars in this free agency class, then they will have to turn to a mid level FA. There are still some players that could give them a lot of help although they may not be max contract studs. Some potential targets could include big man Serge Ibaka and Danilo Gallinari.
Boston was one of the worst rebounding teams last year and Ibaka could fix some of their problems right away. Ibaka averaging 14.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 1.6 BPG could be the glass cleaner that the Celtics desperately need.
A 6’10 stretch forward that can score off the bench is just what the Celtics need to take up the lost minutes of Olynyk and Jerebko. If they fail to get Hayward or George, Danilo would be a viable second option.
Will Ainge Finally Pull the Trigger on a Big Name Player?
All of Celtics Nation wants their C’s to land either Hayward, Griffin, or George, but if they fail to then there will surely be some #FireAinge tweets. At the end of the day, the C’s are coming off a 1st place finish in the East with a conference finals exit, so it would not be the end of the world if they fail to land one of them. Seeing Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum grow could potentially be more exciting than seeing them land Blake Griffin or Gordon Hayward. All of these questions will be answered soon enough when free agency beings at 12 AM .
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