The off-season is a time for teams to improve their roster by adding young prospects and free agents. This process involves the asking questions such as who should be retained, who should be added, and who should be moved in order to improve the team going forward. In this series we will examine the financial situations of all teams and look at potential free agents that would be ideal targets for each team. In addition we will look closely at which players to retain and which to let go.Today we look at the Boston Celtics. The celtics finished the season the season at 25-57, good for 4th in the Atlantic division. The celtics are in a curious position as a team with some cap room and an all-star player in Rajon Rondo. So, who should Boston target going forward? Well lets take a look at the list!
Celtics Free Agents
1. Avery Bradley, PG/SG
Bradley is a restricted free agent for Boston. At 23 years young, Bradley has already shown to be a productive player and still has potential to grow. This one is a no-brainer for the celtics. If Boston decides not to even make the qualifying offer I would be shocked. Another plus for Bradley is that he has value as a trade piece moving forward even if the team does not want to retain him.
2. Jerryd Bayless, PG/SG
First of all I want to say that I am a big Bayless fan. I think he's a great scoring option of the bench and provides a similar skill-set to Patty Mills (we all saw what he could do). Bayless is an unrestricted free agent which means he has the right to sign with anyone. Being an unrestricted free agent might actually be to the benefit of Boston in that they don't have to put down a cap hold by extending a qualifying offer and thus can use their cap room to see if they can find a better option than Bayless or upgrade other parts of their roster. With the current depth in the Boston backcourt, I think the celtics should look at other options first, as all teams should do with their unrestricted free agents, but still keep him in the back of their mind. One other major point to keep in mind about the decision on whether to retain him or let him walk is who the celtics decide to take with their draft picks, specifically the 17th which I do believe they could use on a guard.
3. Kris Humphries, PF/C
Ah, what about Kris Humphries the player who will always be famous because of his Kim Kardashian saga. All gossip aside, I think Humphries is actually a decently valuable player. He is a solid role player who does a good job of grabbing rebounds. While there is talent in Humphries, I do not see the celtics retaining him. First of all they have the 6th overall pick in the draft which I expect them to use on a big man. Second, I think Humphries is better suited for a contending team where can be used for his best skill, rebounding. Boston should pass on the big man and use the money they would spend on him elsewhere.
Verdict: Don't Retain
Free Agent Targets
While I could go on about the numerous free agents in the NBA and examine each one to see if they are a fit with each team, it would be better served to narrow that list down to the top three players each team should target. These players are players I believe could actually come to the team. While all teams would love to add LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, it's safe to assume that it is an unrealistic option for most teams.
1. Kevin Love, PF/C
Kevin Love isn't technically a free agent but he might as well be. The soon to be free agent has said he is looking elsewhere and apparently Boston could be in his plans. I think Kevin Love would be a solid addition to this team because of his scoring and rebounding ability. He would be a nice complement to Rajon Rondo who would is an elite playmaker. There are other teams in the mix though and the question still lies what would be left on the roster after a trade for Love. With that being said, a Love and Rondo combo along with some complimentary pieces would definitely be able to bring Boston back into the limelight and most likely make them playoff bound.
2. Greg Monroe, PF/C
Why is it that this option hasn't been looked into more. If the celtics can't land Love, they would be better suited to pickup Monroe rather than have a fire sale that includes Rondo being shipped off. While Monroe isn't Kevin Love, he is still a very good big man who, with Rondo, could be a dangerous player. The celtics would have to make some moves to make this deal work but, with almost 9.3 million in cap room if Bradley is not offered an extension, this is a feasible move for Boston. Additionally, I don't think it would take as much talent to move Monroe and, if Boston is able to retain that 6th pick with the less talent required to get Monroe, they could create a dangerous frontcourt with a big man from the draft.
3. Gordon Hayward, SG/SF
Bringing Hayward to the celtics would provide a nice story considering Hayward played under Stevens in his Butler days. The reason I put Hayward under Monroe is because I think Monroe would be easier to pull from the Pistons would than Hayward would from the Jazz. If the celtics seriously want Hayward they are going to have to throw a lot of money at Hayward in order for the Jazz to not match the offer. If Utah doesn't match the offer, Hayward would be a nice addition to the celtics by increasing their depth at the wing.
Other Potential Targets
Here's a list, in no particular order, of some other players I think would be great fits for the celtics.
Kevin Seraphin, PF
Byron Mullens, PF/C
Michael Beasley, SF/PF
Jodie Meeks, SG
Evan Turner, SG/SF
Chandler Parsons, SF
So, with all this being said, who should the celtics target in free agency?