Week one of NBA free agency was, in a word, crazy.
DeMarcus Cousins is taking his talents to Golden State for pennies on the dollar, Paul George is staying in OKC with Russell Westbrook and LeBron James is heading west to join the Lakers.
The Celtics haven’t made any major moves this offseason, but with the James news, it’s obvious the C’s are already one of the biggest winners of the free agency period. The departure of James clears a path to Eastern Conference control for the C’s over the next few seasons.
There’s still work for Danny Ainge and company this summer. After the resigning of big man Aron Baynes, the C’s have about $15.5 million left before hitting the hard cap. They’re also a contract or two away from the tax, something ownership has said they would be willing to pay for a contender.
With all of that said, here are five free agents left that the Celtics could consider.
This should be priority No. 1. The Celtics have let the market play out for the restricted free agent and so far things aren’t going Smart’s way. NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely reported that Smart will likely sign the $6.1 million dollar qualifying offer and try his luck again next summer as an unrestricted free agent.
There are still question marks about Smart’s ability on the offensive end, but the guard’s tough, gritty defensive skillset makes him valuable on a championship team.
The market is closing quickly for the sharpshooter. Roster openings and money are both dwindling quickly. Miami would have to move money off their books or head into the luxury tax (which they most likely would not do with a non-contender) to keep Ellington. The guard shouldn’t be desperate yet, but if the C’s can wait it out and offer a one-year deal on the cheaper side there’s always a chance Ellington would want to play on a contending team for less money.
There’s always room for more elite shooting on today’s NBA rosters. While Ellington is average defensively, he was one of the only five players to average 39-plus percent from three. The other four? Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kyle Lowry and Paul George.
At this point, West isn’t looking for a payday. If the 37-year-old decides to play another year, it would be interesting to see what he could bring to this Celtics team. West would not play many minutes, but his veteran presence in the locker room and playoff experience with the Warriors would be crucial for this young C’s roster.
On top of that, his best three shooting seasons of his career have been his last three seasons. West offers a few solid minutes a night on the floor, but what he brings off of it may be more important.
Booker will probably be scooped up sooner than later, but for now he’s still a free agent. The 30-year-old is entering his ninth season in the league; he spent his eighth with three different teams (Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Indiana). Booker isn’t an elite player by any means, but his talent lies in defending and rebounding. The C’s are one of the best defensive teams in the league but still end up getting in trouble due to problems on the glass.
This is more of a risk, but the C’s chould take a flyer on Williams. Between playing overseas and a knee injury, Williams hasn’t seen much NBA action but when he has he certainly left his mark. Williams owned per-36-minute averages of 17.6 points and 14.8 rebounds. Phoenix waived Williams July 2, if the Celtics are still looking for frontcourt depth despite first-round draft pick Robert Williams III, Alan Williams might be a cheap option to try out.
Full article @ Five free agents remaining the Celtics should consider
Source: GreenStreet Blog