The big name free agents are likely to land elsewhere and the Celtics have a lot of money they could spend. Thus they have been attached to a lot of 2nd tier free agents in the rumor cycle.
The thinking is that teams like the Celtics might be willing to overpay free agents this summer knowing that the cap will explode in the next few years and big deals this year won't look so bad in the future. Also, most teams will have more cap room in the following summers, so we might want to lock in guys while we've got some advantage right now.
But will the Celtics really be willing to over-pay for guys that aren't stars? It depends on the player and according to Bulpett, not all the rumors we've heard have been entirely accurate.
Big free agents not likely to land here | Boston Herald
According to league sources, they will not, as has been reported, be going hard after some of the next-level free agents who’ll be commanding more than their true worth once they hit the open market. Ainge wasn’t offering or confirming any specifics in a quick phone conversation. He spoke mainly in generalities as he and his staff continued to prepare for both the free agent negotiating sprint and the flurry of NBA trades that are certain to come later in July.
"I have two thoughts going into this," he said. "No. 1, try to get really good players, and 2, try to be responsible in our (salary) cap management." Asked to elaborate on the latter, he said, "It’s very big. We need to manage our payroll and our cap. We want to get better right now, but we can’t put ourselves in a bad position where we can’t make a move we really need to down the line. But we’re ready to make a big move right now if one is available to us."
It should be very interesting to see who the Celtics go after and who they allow to pass them by. Will they offer a max deal to Tobias Harris? Will they try to keep Greg Monroe from signing with the Knicks? Maybe not.
One guy that I haven't heard a lot about is Robin Lopez.
Your 2015 NBA free agent primer | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo Sports
A loping 7-footer who still manages to survive despite the game’s shifting tides, Lopez will be the subject of a serious bidding war and for good reason. Should Portland decide to completely start over in a post-Aldridge world, the team could possibly squeeze a solid sign-and-trade out of Lopez’s move to greener pastures with a non-tax team. The NBA will always bid high for centers who can walk and chew gum at the same time, and while it hasn’t been confirmed that Robin Lopez is capable of as much, he’s going to get paid this summer. Where he should sign: Milwaukee. Where he'll probably sign: Boston.
Obviously complicating matters further is the potential for trades, especially with the Celtics roster so unbalanced. I would throw in a few more variables as well. Trade exceptions, sign-and-trades, and the option to use cap room for trades where the C's take on more money than they send out.
There are a lot of variables right now and Ainge clearly isn't done yet. Things could get very interesting in the next few days.