The Celtics have cap space for the first time in forever and obviously they'll pursue the top name free agents if any of them is interested in relocating to Boston this summer. But if all the big names decide to stay with their current teams or find relocation plans that don't include Waltham, then rumor has it the Celtics are ready to target the next level of free agents. Here's what old friend Jay King dug up.
As this past season wound down, league sources told MassLive.com that the Celtics, if they cannot hit a home run, are prepared to offer what looks like an "overpay" to a second-tier free agent. The idea would be to acquire an improving player on a contract he could grow into. With the salary cap set to rise in unprecedented leaps and bounds, a deal signed this summer will appear very different in the coming years – especially if the acquired player adds to his game.
King also reports that two of the names (Enes Kanter and Reggie Jackson) that had previously been connected to the Celtics are not really on the team's radar anymore.
So who are some of these 2nd tier guys the Celtics could consider? Kevin O'Connor has some ideas that he shared on About.com. They include Khris Middleton, Tobias Harris, Robin Lopez, Danny Green, Bismack Biyombo, and Tristan Thompson. Click the link above for more details on each one.
On one hand, I'm not crazy about settling for 2nd class free agents. On the other hand, if we miss out on the stars (likely) I'm not sure if there's a better plan. Rolling again with the current group plus 4 rookies doesn't sound that appetizing. And as several have pointed out, with the rising cap and the restrictions on the length of contracts, free agent deals aren't going to be as crippling as they have been in the past.
So you pay over market price for a guy that has a chance to someday live up to his potential. It is a gamble, but so is waiting on rookies to develop.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.