The Boston Celtics and Danny Ainge have opened up a plethora of paths this offseason. With Kyrie Irving and Al Horford set to leave the franchise, the C’s have some cap room to play with and an interesting free agent class coming up. By the end of this offseason, the Celtics will likely look drastically different than last year’s team.
Returning Players: Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Aron Baynes, Robert Williams, Guerschon Yabusele, Semi Ojelaye
With eight rostered players for next season, the Celtics have a solid top of the roster. Tatum, Brown, Williams, and Ojelaye comprise a young core with Hayward, Smart and Baynes bringing the veteran leadership. The biggest problem that will arise is the lack of depth and the weakness at point guard. The Celtics will need to focus on adding to a roster that has some potential, and they have the means to do so.
Projected Cap Space: ~28-36M dependent on Rozier
This figure works under the assumption Rozier signs with Boston at a projected 8.5M dollar cap hit. With reports that Rozier is all-in on a Celtics team minus Kyrie, we’ll assume the Celtics have $28 million to spend after retaining Rozier. Now the big question: where to spend that money.
Mid-Tier free agents
The Celtics don’t command the required cap space to sign a max contract at the moment, so their focus should shift to signing the middle tier of role players that are in this class. Guys like Patrick Beverley (pictured), Ricky Rubio, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Trevor Ariza all fit that 8-12M range. Each one provides the Celtics with depth and key roles that strengthen and diversify the team. They have the space to acquire two or three of these guys, none of which have ever played for the Green.
Fresh Faces from Draft
The Celtics may look a lot younger next year due to their three first-round picks in this year’s NBA Draft. Each pick offers a plethora of intriguing prospects. While none have the star power of Zion, they all bring skills to the table that will give the Celtics a nice crop of young players to groom. Guys like Nassir Little and Ty Jerome are nice developmental projects that can become key role players early in their careers. The Celtics would love the opportunity to fill the team with fresh faces for the young core.
Overall, The Celtics have the pieces in place for a drastic roster Shake-up. Don’t be surprised when you see a bunch of new faces next season.