Pass or Play with 6 potential Celtics free agent reunions

Kyrie Irving and Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
Kyrie Irving and Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images /
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Boston Celtics, Grant Williams
Boston Celtics, Grant Williams, Max Strus. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

Free Agent No. 3: Max Strus, Wing

Playing opposite Jeff Green in the NBA Finals was Max Strus, a 6’5″ wing who has fought his way from an unwanted undrafted player out of DePaul to a player likely to command a large salary in NBA free agency this summer. Along the way to finding his place in the NBA, Strus actually first signed a two-way contract with the Celtics, who then cut him before the start of the 2019 NBA season.

Strus caught on with the Heat after a stop in Chicago and took off from there, and he started 41 games for Miami over the past two seasons. Strus is a solid perimeter defender and shooter, essentially the archetype for a 3-and-D wing. He is fearless in big situations and the Celtics have had a front-row seat to his postseason shot-making the past two years.

The issue isn’t that the Celtics wouldn’t love to have Strus, but that he will likely be too expensive. Even if Strus can be signed to the standard MLE, the Celtics are too expensive to use that. They would have to send positive salary back to the Heat in a sign-and-trade or dump players on a team with cap space. That isn’t worth it for a team that already has plenty of wing players; signing Strus would be a luxury, not a necessity, so they should pass and hope he doesn’t end up on a playoff rival.

Pass or Play: Pass

Free Agent No. 2: Dennis Schroder, Point Guard

Most of the players discussed thus far played in Boston early in their careers, but Dennis Schröder fits in a different bucket. After playing in Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles to start his career, Schroder was on the Celtics just two seasons ago. He was fairly terrible that season, to the point that Boston dumped him on Houston at the trade deadline and replaced him with Derrick White – a move that has certainly worked out.

Schroder is now a free agent once again and has rehabilitated his value after a solid season for the Lakers and an excellent postseason. Having traded Marcus Smart, there is a clear need to improve the backcourt. Would Schroder be the best option with the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception? He just might be, but his role in Boston would be less than he is probably looking for, and there is likely bad blood between the two sides. Working through that may not be worth it.

Pass or Play: Pass….probably