First Al Horford made his return to Boston. Now some more familiar names have surfaced on the Boston Celtics rumor mill. According to Adam Himmelsbach those names include Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk, and Avery Bradley (in addition to Rudy Gay and Patty Mills). It appears that a prime target is Jeff Green.
According to a league source, the Celtics prefer to pursue a player with extensive experience and are focused on adding size and shooting, and forward Jeff Green is believed to be a primary target. Green played for the Celtics from 2011-2015, including a season and a half with Stevens as his head coach.
Green has carved out a nice niche for himself in this league. Not as the star that many in Boston hoped he’d become, but rather as a high quality veteran bench player. I’ve said several times that the team could use a stretch 4 that can defend. Green could be perfect in that role.
Speaking of shooters with size...
Olynyk’s strong finish to last season after being traded to the Rockets could keep him out of the Celtics’ price range, but Olynyk loved his time in Boston and kept a home here after departing in 2017. Gay, meanwhile, played for San Antonio while Udoka was an assistant there. He made 38.1 percent of his 3-pointers last season.
Backcourt options include players such as Spurs veteran Patty Mills—who was also coached by Udoka—and former Celtics guard Avery Bradley, according to a league source.
Brad Stevens had a lot of success with those players as a coach. Seems like he’d like to find some of that old magic once again. Hey, why not bring Evan Turner back off the bench while we’re at it?
I will point out that a lot of former coaches who take on the general manager role tend to fall back on former players that they “trust.” Sometimes that works out and other times the players have regressed to the point that only a former coach would value them. Hopefully this is more the former than the latter.
As always with free agency, the price tag matters. The Celtics will have to prioritize who they want to spend the money that they have and hope that their top choices take it (before the market passes them by).
Should be a very interesting first few days of free agency. Remember that last year our free agency was delayed in part because the team was waiting on a decision from Gordon Hayward. This year it seems the front office has lined up their transactions and should be ready to go from the opening bell.