Free agency has not gone according to plan for the Boston Celtics, assuming new President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens’ itinerary didn’t include complete and utter stagnance in the opening days of the free-agent moratorium period.
To be fair, he has been more active than anyone in the trade market, nabbing Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Kris Dunn, and other pieces that are still in flux at the moment.
But when it comes to having a player voluntarily sign on the dotted line? Well, he’s got an o-fer going.
It’s not so much that Boston is a bad organization to join. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are at the top of their games, and Ime Udoka is a coach many have high hopes for in the player relations department.
But their recent results have them in the market for overpays on veterans that seemingly want to a win a ring in 2022 and don’t have a few years to develop with the Jays as the league’s vanguards (Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry) age out of their primes. Tough luck on the Greek Freak front by the way.
These 3 teams have already–and will continue–to be a threat to any free agent the Boston Celtics are also chasing:
Boston Celtics free agent threat #1: Brooklyn Nets
Already the Brooklyn Nets have afflicted damage on the C’s free agency plans, poaching away their top target Patty Mills.
One must think Stevens could have considered offering Mills the entire MLE–which would have coincided with another cost-cutting move one would think (Carsen Edwards, anyone?)–but Mills settled on taking the taxpayer’s MLE to join the Brooklyn Nets.
Other Cs targets for the minimum could consider playing in NYC instead with a star-studded cast that is all-in for the 2021-22 campaign. Boston is playing more of a long-game, but Brooklyn’s endgame is this year.