Who is Danny Ainge’s first call on midnight, July 1st?
Daniel Poarch: Aron Baynes. Not exactly the flashiest or most exciting signing, but the team will probably be waiting to see how restricted free agency plays out with Marcus Smart, and we already know both sides are motivated to get a deal done to keep Baynes in Boston. Assuming the Celtics don’t make any blockbuster moves this offseason—and I expect they won’t—settling on new deals for Baynes and Smart (along with new signee Brad Wanamaker) will essentially lock in the rotation for next season. That might make for a quiet summer, but there’s really no reason for the Celtics to get crazy here.
Jeff Clark: Aside from contacting Baynes, I’m not sure there’s anyone to call on July 1st. Marcus Smart will wait for the market to set his value, and the Celtics don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend elsewhere. I think they could still sign a ring-chasing veteran, but that typically doesn’t happen till later in the off season.
Andrew Doxy: The Celtics probably don’t make any calls at midnight. I’m sure they’ll continue negotiating with Marcus Smart before and after the beginning of the free agency period, and the same goes for Aron Baynes. Technically, the Celtics already made their “first call” by agreeing to a deal with Brad Wanamaker. With the amount of returning contracts next season, there’s not much to be done. My prediction is that it’ll be a quiet summer in terms of actual transactions. Don’t think for a second that it’ll be quiet on the rumor front, though.
Bill Sy: OK, fun police here. I’ll make the crazy prediction: Isaiah Thomas. It’s sad to say this because I kinda already forgot about him, but after reading Keith’s ballhandler free agency preview, I’d love for Danny to make his first call at 12:01 am to the King of the Fourth. Maybe it’s not so much a prediction, but a wish. After all the drama surrounding his hip and the trade to Cleveland, he’d get a hero’s welcome in the Garden, and we could put that tribute video debate to rest. Obviously, Danny wouldn’t sign a player to the MLE out of nostalgia, but if IT4 can prove that he’s healthy, why not?