Celtics Off-Season Preview

Danny Ainge in 2008.

The postseason for the Boston Celtics wasn’t a failure by any means, but at the same time, it wasn’t a success. For the Celtics, they have their eyes on one thing, and that’s the championship. To do this, they might have to make some changes to their roster ahead of the 2020-2021 offseason. 

Gordon Hayward

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, The Indiana Pacers have expressed interest in trading for the Indiana native, Gordon Hayward. Begley reports, “It’s unknown what Boston would want in return for Haywardor if the club is even open to moving him.” This is a deal that both teams should be looking at seriously. 

For the Celtics, the Miami Heat proved that the Celtics still need a prototypical big that can secure rebounds and defend the rim in close games. That is where Myles Turner will come in. Turner is one of the better centers in the league, at only 24 years old. He led the league in blocked shots a season ago and has finished top five every year he’s been in the league. He also can stretch the floor; he shot 34 percent from three on about four attempts per game. As for Indiana, Turner hasn’t been able to fit well since Domantas Sabonis emerged as an All-Star this season. Hayward would give the Pacers a chance to have Sabonis run center full time. Hayward could give them some scoring at the wing position to take the pressure off of Victor Olidipo, who is returning from a serious season-ending injury to his leg.

Free agency 

The Celtics are going to have their young core for at least one more season. There are six players currently listed as free agents, all of which are restricted, have a player option, or a team option. Most notable is Gordon Hayward, who has a player option for $32.4 million that he is most likely going to accept. Other like Brad Wannamaker, Tacko Fall, and Tremont Waters are all going to be restricted-free agents. And Enes Kanter and Semi Ojeleye have player and team options respectively.

As for who is available, the Celtics are not going to have too much money to spend, especially if they plan on giving Jayson Tatum a max contract. If they are going to pick someone up, it would have to be a cheap backup type player. Some possible names are Nerlens Noel from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tyler Johnson from the Brooklyn Nets, and Yogi Farell from the Sacramento Kings. Again, the Celtics are not going to hit any home runs in free agency, but these are small pieces that can improve the Celtics bench. 

The Draft

Boston always finds a way to get some decent draft picks regardless of how good they are. This year they will have three first-round picks: 14 (which they had last year) 26, and 30. Danny Ainge, the general manager, is a very smart man and gets good use out of his draft picks. Last year, the Celtics had two first-round picks. With those picks, they drafted Romeo Langford and Grant Williams, two players that had a pretty big impact off the bench. According to Forbes, some prospects that would be available at the fourteenth pick are Saddiq Bey, a good 3-and-D (three point and defensive specialist), and Aaron Nesmith, a reliable catch and shot player. Cole Anthony could also possibly drop down to the fourteenth overall pick, and if he does, he would make a great offensive spark plug off the bench. As for pick 26 and 30, there aren’t as many options. Some under-the-radar prospects include Ty-Shon Alexander and Paul Reed. 

The Celtics don’t need a Lebron James or a Zion Williamson in this draft. What they really need to do is to get role pieces to surround their team and complement players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Honestly, they don’t need to draft anyone at all. With these picks, they could trade them either to Indiana in the Hayward trade or for a proven player to come off the bench.

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