Boston Celtics could steal Golden State Warriors starter in free agency

The Boston Celtics could steal this Golden State Warriors starter in free agency Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Celtics could steal this Golden State Warriors starter in free agency Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics fell to the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals, officially ending the quest for Banner 18 after a valiant effort. It could lead to the losers gaining the spoils if things get too expensive in the Bay Area.

More on that later, though.

Until then, the Warriors deserve the flowers for the spectacular performances from Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole in particular. Curry was named NBA Finals MVP for the first time. Thompson overcame ACL and Achilles heel tears to become a symbol of resilience for a tight-knit trio (alongside Green) that just won its fourth NBA Championship together.

In a way, the Warriors being back on top of the NBA world is a mark of the pandemic era of the Association officially being in the rearview. The 2019 NBA Finals Game 6 injuries to Thompson and Kevin Durant should have tipped us off that the times were changing.

Boston hasn’t had times like these (aka an NBA Finals appearance) since 2010, and this pain doesn’t quite match up to that Game 7 sting. Still, that isn’t to say it doesn’t hurt at all.

The Celtics were able to avoid a full-strength Milwaukee Bucks and also were able to get past a Miami Heat team that was hurting as well. Khris Middleton’s return, along with other potential improvements in the Eastern Conference, means this offseason may have to be one where Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens shuffles the deck to match.

Clearly, the Cs core is one capable of great things. Despite Jayson Tatum’s NBA Finals woes, the All-NBA First Team forward is still a top 10 player in the Association. Per StatMuse, Tatum was the first player to ever turn the ball over 100 times in a single postseason.

Jaylen Brown was similarly reckless with the ball at times, but his Game 6 performance solidified his standing as a future superstar himself. Brown had 34 points on a 12/23 night overall and a 5/11 long-distance shooting split in the Celtics’ swan song.

Those two are necessities moving forward, and Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and value big man Robert Williams similarly feel unexpendable. Moves around the fringes almost feel like the logical next step after Stevens got so close, but is left cigar-less.

The No. 1 weapon Boston has right now is their taxpayer’s MLE, but if they can trade a certain salary owned by a fan-favorite, or move certain trade deadline additions in the second unit, they can regain the full MLE.

That’s expected to be the market for Golden State Warriors starter Otto Porter, whose insertion into the starting lineup led to three straight wins from a 2-1 hole to clinch the Warriors’ seventh championship as an organization since 1947.

The Boston Celtics could steal Warriors starter Otto Porter

Golden State is a taxpayer, and has no reason to cut salary. They need to stick to their championship status quo, and will.

That could mean that Otto Porter would need to take a salary cut to stay on a championship-caliber team. NBA players don’t tend to do such things, and at age 29, Porter has no reason not to ink a long-term deal at the highest rate possible.

Teams with cap space won’t be using it to sign Porter, but the Cs could conceivably make a play for the former No. 3 overall pick in 2013. They should, if for no other reason than to disassemble a potential awakened beast out in the Bay Area.

Enjoy this championship, Warriors fans, but sleep with one eye open regarding your 2022 NBA Champion death lineup’s final piece with free agency approaching.

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