By now we’ve heard all the usual free agent names tied to the Boston Celtics in rumors and speculation: Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Ryan Anderson, etc. But Danny Ainge will have to look under every rock in an effort to improve the talent level on this team. So let’s take a moment and look at some free agent names that haven’t been mentioned as often around here.
CSN’s A. Sherrod Blakely stole my thunder a little here by posting Five Free Agents You May Not Have Considered (no really, I was planning on writing this post before ASB did his!). Here’s his list (with my comments added)
- Chandler Parsons - I like this idea because his injury history might make him more affordable (or it may motivate him to take a shorter contract in hopes of a bigger payday in the future). When healthy, he’s a great stretch-the-floor option.
- Marvin Williams - Marvin has carved out a nice career for himself as a stretch 4, and he’s very versatile, which makes him a great fit for the modern NBA game. He would be a great under-the-radar pickup at the right price.
- Nic Batum - I’m not as sold on Batum because he’s going to require max money to sign, and I think that’s overpaying for his talent level, even in this new salary cap era. He would certainly help in many ways, but I don’t think he puts the Celtics over the top.
- Bismack Biyombo - Another guy that is going to get max dollars, and I’m not convinced that he’s proven himself enough for those dollars yet. That said, he’s a potentially dominant rim protector and still young enough to grow into an expanded role.
- Pau Gasol - Pau is nearing the end of his career, so that might not put him on the same timeline as the core of the Celtics roster. With that said, if he’s interested in a one- or two-year deal to play on a playoff contender, the Celtics could use his scoring and experience.
Additional names (not in Blakely’s piece) to consider and keep in mind.
- Hassan Whiteside - Million-dollar talent with a two-cent head. But if Brad Stevens can keep him focused and driven after he gets his big paycheck, he could be a difference-maker.
- Mike Conley - I know, I know, he’s a point guard unlikely to leave his current team, in particular to join a team overstocked with guards. But you don’t know what kinds of deals will happen on draft night, and if we have to give up some of our guards to get a guy like Jimmy Butler, Conley might be an interesting target.
- Dwight Howard - I don’t like Howard, and I don’t really want him on my team. That said, he’s a potentially game-changing defensive center who still could have some good years left in him. He’s not going to get you 26 pts and 15 reb nights anymore, but on a short-term deal I could see him filling a need.
- Al Jefferson - I think the league has fewer places for a guy with Big Al’s skill set, but he’s still a bucket creator and has improved his defense over the years.
- Jared Dudley - we've got an author writing on this, and I don't want to steal his thunder, but I just think Dudley is worth keeping an eye on.
- Rajon Rondo - Just kidding.
Older guys to consider on short term deals: Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Zaza Pachulia, David West, Kevin Martin, Nene, Joe Johnson, David Lee (made you look, LOL).
International guys with NBA experience: Donatas Motiejunas, Mirza Teletovic, Ersan Ilyasova, Timofey Mozgov
I’m sure there are more names that could make sense that I’m forgetting and a lot can change between now and July 1st, but this is a good enough start to spark discussion. So who would you like to see the Celtics pursue next month?