Boston Celtics: The Boston Globe lists 5 free agent targets

Boston Celtics (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens is looking to lean on familiarity to ease new head coach Ime Udoka into the role, as his free agency wishlist reportedly features several players that played under Stevens during his time as Cs HC.

According to the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, former Celtics like Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Jeff Green, as well as former Udoka-coached targets like Rudy Gay and Patty Mills are expected to talk with Boston about taking the team’s mid-level exception.

Outside of the MLE, the Boston Celtics lack flexibility beyond a sign-and-trade. Lonzo Ball was the team’s primary S&T target, though the Chicago Bulls seem dead set on locking him down as their floor general of the future with a massive offer sheet.

So clearly, one of the aforementioned names will be taking home the team’s MLE, whether it be the full $9.5 million mid-level exception or the smaller $5.9 million taxpayer version.

Who should be the player to take home the MLE for the Boston Celtics be?

Well, that’s a loaded question. Ideally, none would take the full mid-level, and Stevens would be able to divvy up the money among multiple players, but the Cs don’t hold that kind of cache at this point in time.

Someone like Green already has interested suitors in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, so taking anything less than the taxpayer’s MLE to go to a team in worse shape to win a championship makes little sense.

Ditto for Bradley, whose current suitors include the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, the two teams that competed for the 2020 NBA Championship. Bradley sat out the bubble postseason that year but was given a ring for the Lakers title before signing with the Heat in free agency.

Olynyk seems like the most logical reunion considering the deals made over the weekend sending out Moses Brown and Tristan Thompson. His shooting (39% 3-point shooting in Houston last season) could be welcomed in a lineup that only seems to thrive with a non-shooting 5 when it’s Robert Williams. The Detroit Pistons are a team to watch in his free agency recruitment, though, and they could ultimately price him out of Boston.

Mills or Gay appear to be better investment options for the Boston Celtics.

The familiarity with Udoka puts Mills and Gay at an advantage in free agency, even so over guys who have been with the organization before. Both have had injuries in the past slow them down, but both played in over 85% of the Spurs’ games last season and shot 38% from the 3-point line.

With Gregg Popovich only able to coach for so many more seasons, it’s likely we see major changes in San Antonio this offseason. That will include both Mills and Gay finding a new home in free agency.

Our prediction is Mills landing with the Cs while Gay heads to L.A. to hunt for a ring with the “king” and co.

Evan Fournier S&T an option?. dark. Next