First Round Picks Signed
The Boston Celtics signed their first-round draft picks from the 2019 NBA draft this week. Romeo Langford, the 14th pick, and Grant Williams, the 22nd pick, are now officially Celtics. Langford, a shooting guard/small forward from Indiana University, will make nearly $7.1 Million (M) guaranteed over his first two years. The Celtics have a player option for 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 worth $3.8M and $5.6M, respectively. Langford’s $3.5M salary in 2019-2020 will be approximately 120% of the rookie wage scale. The Celtics have a qualifying offer of $7.8M in 2023-2024 when Langford becomes a restricted free agent. That qualifying offer would constitute a $16.9M cap hit.
Williams, a power forward from the University of Tennessee, listed as a small forward on the Celtics roster, will make nearly $5M guaranteed over his first two years. The Celtics have a player option for 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 worth $2.6M and $4.3M, respectively. Just like Langford, Williams’ $2.4M salary in 2019-2020 will be approximately 120% of the rookie wage scale. The Celtics have a qualifying offer of $6.2M in 2023-2024 when Williams becomes a restricted free agent. That qualifying offer would constitute a $12.9M cap hit.
Other Notable Transactions
The Boston Celtics waived Guerschon Yabusele this week after picking up his $3.1M option last season. The word on the court was Yabusele’s development was not up to pace with the team’s desires. Boston signed Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, Tacko Fall, and Vincent Poirier in addition to guaranteeing Semi Ojeyele’s contract this month, making Yabusele obsolete. Unfortunately, Yabusele’s $3.1M is dead money and counts against the Celtics 2019-2020 salary cap.
The Boston Celtics also signed rookie point guard Carsen Edwards to a three-year $4.5M contract. Edwards was the 33rd pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Practically a first-round pick himself, Edwards shined in the NBA Summer League, becoming a fan favorite. The point guard position was once a source of panic for Celtics fans. Edwards becomes the Celtics fourth point guard and the third point guard signed this month (Brad Wannamaker ; Kemba Walker).
Putting the Pieces Together
Not more than a month ago Celtics fans wondered about the direction of the team. After Kyrie Irving and Al Horford declined their lucrative player options things looked grim. The Celtics then landed another max contract player in Walker, for whatever that’s worth considering Hayward’s status, and things began to look up. The signing of Kanter provided a much-needed veteran inside presence after the departure of Horford. The signing of Tacko Fall provides the giant splash of potential we missed out on in the draft. The 7’7” center being on an Exhibit-10 contract seems apropos if not ironically insensitive.
The Boston Celtics went from a possible dynasty to a rebuilding project in a matter of months. Dreams of Kyrie Irving throwing it up to Anthony Davis turned to valid questions. Would the Celtics even be able to convince Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to stay? Now Boston trots out a likely lineup of Walker, Hayward, Tatum, Theis and Kanter, with Marcus Smart and Brown coming off the bench. The Celtics now have depth at every position, albeit young depth. Who’s better equipped to deal with young players – these Celtics average 24.2 years old – than Brad Stevens and this revamped Celtics coaching staff? The last time Stevens had to make the best of a young team the Celtics were seven minutes from making the NBA Finals. The way things are lining up, Boston could be back there this coming season.