The draft didn't work out the way that many wanted, but it is just the first step in an offseason that could still be very interesting.
The Celtics now turn their attention to free agency. They have a lot of cap room and the draw of one of the top young coaches in the league. That, however, doesn't mean we can dream of all the top free agents lining up at our door.
So now Boston will begin its push into free agency, which will officially begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Although the Celtics are expected to have exploratory contact with most of the top available options, the team is not encouraged by its chances of landing an elite target this summer. "We’re well-positioned to get any free agent that moves, but a lot won’t move," one team source said. "It’s going to be tough."
So the Celtics are likely going to have to pick through the next "tier" down free agents. The biggest name that keeps coming up is Greg Monroe.
"I'm looking to be with a team that's ready to win," said Monroe during a timeout at his youth basketball clinic Saturday morning at the Delgado Community College gymnasium. "Hopefully it will be a team where I'm the missing piece."
While the Celtics did make the playoffs last year and won a fair share more than the Pistons, I wouldn't exactly say that they are merely a "missing piece" away. Then again, I wouldn't say that about the Knicks, Lakers, Bucks, or even the Blazers either.
Monroe is going to go where he can get the biggest paycheck while being a featured part of the offense and a central part of a team's focus going forward. He obviously felt that he didn't fit into a crowded frontcourt in Detroit and is seeking greener pastures elsewhere.
But he's not the only free agent the Celtics will pursue. We've already heard about the C's interest in Tobias Harris. Then there are reports of Al-Farouq Aminu scheduling a visit. Various reports have hinted at interest in Khris Middleton, Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, Kosta Koufus, and even old friend Paul Pierce. I'm sure there are even more options that we haven't heard directly linked to Boston yet.
What will it take to get them to come to Boston? How high is Danny willing to bid in order to land them? What are they "worth" and is that anywhere near in line with what they can get on the open market? All questions that remain to be answered.
Then there's the potentially league-altering impact of the TV money that is getting infused over the next few years. The salary cap is going to skyrocket, thus giving a lot of teams flexibility to bid up the players on the market. Teams will feel emboldened to spend money now (even if it pushes them into the tax temporarily) knowing that they'll get cap flexibility in the coming years.
The Celtics could very well wish to strike while they are one of a limited number of teams that has cap room, knowing that next year most teams will be on a more level playing field in that regard. Does that mean that they'll overpay for a second tier guy or two and eventually regret their decision? That's at least a danger to worry about.
Still, the Celtics do have the ability to at least play the free agent game. It is one of the the options for adding talent to the roster. We haven't even talked about trades or sign-and-trades yet. Don't go anywhere yet folks. Once again we didn't get fireworks on draft night, but the 4th of July does line up pretty closely with free agency, so stay tuned.