Celtics offseason: Trade and signings they could make
The Celtics have been out of the NBA bubble for over two weeks now and the pain from the Eastern Conference Finals loss is finally starting to fade. As the season comes to a close and now the Lakers are tied for most NBA Championships with the Celtics (17). Now it’s time to look at potential trades and free-agent signings the Celtics can make this offseason so that they can compete with LA for BANNER 18…
Let’s get the ball rolling by stating that this year’s Boston Celtics were NOT a disappointment, the only let down was the ECF loss to Pat Riley’s Miami Heat. Give credit to Miami for exposing Boston in the zone at the beginning of the series and then making the correct adjustments, later on, to close out the series in six games.
But let’s be honest: this season was a success. The Celtics advanced to the ECF after replacing a playoff starting five of:
- Kyrie Irving
- Terry Rozier
- Marcus Morris
- Al Horford
- Aron Baynes
As we look at potential trades and free-agent signings the Celtics can make this offseason, I think we should kick things off with a trade…
Trades and Free Agents:
Scenario #1: Gordon Opts in, but gets traded
Celtics receive: Victor Oladipo & Myles Turner
Pacers receive: Gordon Hayward, Vincent Poirier & 2020 1st round pick
Gordon Hayward recently purchased a $3 million mansion in Indianapolis so this trade wouldn’t be the worst from a real estate POV. Indiana gets a two-way player, previous all-star, and can easily give you 20, even as a third or fourth option as we saw in Boston. I think it might be time to end the Hayward experience with the Celtics, not that he hasn’t been a great teammate or basketball player, he has. Given the circumstances of three freak injuries to the ankle, hand, and then ankle again, he exceeded expectations in my opinion but it’s just not working out. Parting with Vinny Sex Pants is a little easier to pull the trigger on as he makes $2.6 million next year.
Oladipo would certainly be a rental player, on the final year of his $21 million deal and entering his prime. However, Myles Turner could become one of the centers we’ve been looking for to take over the bulk of the center positions’ minutes. Hey, maybe we can swing some deal to land Aron Baynes and he can mentor Turner, the way he did for Deandre Ayton over in Phoenix.
Scenario #2: Depth & Toughness
In this scenario, Boston is actually reunited with Aron Baynes. For this deal to happen though, Aron would need to take a sizeable pay cut (MLE of $5.7 mil) after coming off the best season of his career. It’s not impossible nor improbable and aside from adding the defense and toughness of Baynes, you’d also get the lights out shooting ability of the Aussie Baller.
In a deal to create space not only financially but depth chart-wise as well the Celtics could look to move Enes Kanter and his $5 million dollar contract, however, Kanter does have a Player Option so this would have to be after he opts-in.
Hawks receive: Enes Kanter & 2nd round pick
Celtics receive: Brandon Goodwin (1yr/$1.7 mil)
After the trade goes through, the Celtics can sign a Free Agent for just under six million dollars per year and the options are slim but some of the best options are:
Celtics sign: Aron Baynes for one year, MLE of $5.7 million
Celtics sign: Paul Millsap for one year, MLE of $5.7 million
Celtics sign: Tristan Thompson bets on himself for a one year, MLE of $5.7 million
Scenario #3: Run it back, with more minutes
In the most likely scenario, Gordon Hayward will opt-in to the final year of his $34 million dollar contract and the Celtics will run it back. But the Celtics need to address their biggest problems, and it starts with blowing late-game-leads, the 3rd quarter, and the center position. Let’s take a look at what we already have.
- Daniel Theis
- Grant Williams
- Robert Williams III
Daniel Theis has proven more than his worth over the past few seasons and this may be his final season in Boston entering the final year of his $5 million deal. 24 mins: 9.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG (57%/33%/76%)
Grant Williams was the unsung hero for the Celtics in the Bubble playoffs. The man could not miss from three. Grant played outstanding minutes in the Toronto series, including the series-winning stop on Fred Van Vleet to advance to the ECF. Playoff stats per 36 mins: 10 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG (58%/59%/70%)
Robert Williams III has continued to show spurts of a Clint Capela, Bam Adebayo type defensive player, with above-the-rim dominance on the offensive end. TimeLord has been sidelined with nagging injuries since being drafted and just needs to be healthy. Per 36 mins: 13.9 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 3.2 BPG, 2.0 SPG (72.7% FG)
Last thing, our G-League team (Maine Red Claws) has some GEMS…
Bryce Brown: 23-year-old undrafted sharpshooter from Auburn. We are seeing how well, undrafted shooter Duncan Robinson has performed in his short career with the Miami Heat and maybe, just maybe… Bryce Brown can score 26 points in an elimination game in the NBA Finals for us. He’s an efficient scorer and we can sign him for cheap. G-League Stats in 29 mins: 16 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.4 APG (44%/43%/73%)
Tremont Waters: Waters gave the Celtics some solid minutes last season, but was a FLAMETHROWER in the G-League. Winning the 2019-2020 NBA G-League Rookie of the Year, the five-foot-ten-inch Point Guard from LSU averaged 18 PPG, 7.3 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.9 SPG (42.9%/35.4%/78%)
Keep in mind that next year’s NBA is going to look DIFFERENT. Brooklyn is getting Kyrie and Kevin Durant back. Miami will retool and be ready to fight, healthy Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks and you can’t forget about the heart of the Toronto Raptors, or Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid over in Philadelphia.
Stay tuned for more Celtics news, analysis, and opinions as the offseason kicks off and we will keep an eye on potential trades and free-agent signings the Celtics can make this offseason. Also, check out our Youtube Channel where we post all of our Hype Videos, and follow us on Twitter @CelticsJournal and on Instagram @theCelticsJournal