As the Boston Celtics introduce their newly drafted players, Free Agency is just around the corner [UPDATED]   Leave a comment

Left to Right: Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters.

 

With the Celtics losing two of their 3 All Stars to Free Agency–Kyrie Irving and Al Horford–it’s hard to disagree with many who’ve said the Celtics missed the mark in not drafting Bol Bol, who was ultimately drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 44th Pick in the NBA Draft. The Celtics made up for it the next day by signing Tacko Fall, who shockingly went undrafted. At the same time they traded away backup Center Aaron Baines, presumably to make cap space ahead of the start of Free Agency (June 30th at 6PM EST).

Celtics GM Danny Ainge defiantly defended the decisions made on Draft Night and even pulling the trigger on the trade that brought Kyrie Irving in Boston from Cleveland in exchange for Isaiah Thomas (now with the Denver Nuggets) as well as Jae Crowder (now with the Memphis Grizzlies) and Ante Zizic (still with the Cavs). It was a trade that shocked the NBA World because of what Isaiah Thomas went through just a few months earlier between a season-ending injury and the sudden death of his sister. Then to be traded just like that…yeah. New Lakers All Star Anthony Davis’ father pointed to that trade as why his son would never sign with the Celtics long term.

When the Lakers and Pelicans finalized the trade for Davis, the Celics revealed they would not agree to include Jayson Tatum in a potential trade for Davis. Even with Irving and Horford gone, it would be fair to say this isn’t a rebuild but a reshuffle. Marcus Morris has notified the Celtics he is going to test Free Agency but plans to sign a new contract with the Celtics. We’ll have to wait and see.

We know Irving will be gone and plans to sign with the Nets. We also know he’s trying to recruit Kevin Durant to join him in Brooklyn. Given the way he left Cleveland and now Boston, one can’t help but wonder if “being worried Durant won’t come with him” is the only reason the Nets are reconsidering signing him. Nevermind all the reports about his not being happy living in Boston or not liking Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge. Irving being Irving and trying to force Hayward as a starter led to what we saw this past season. Brad Stevens took the blame for how the season and playoff run ended though at the time, everyone outside the locker room probably didn’t know all of the reasons he blamed himself. I do agree with some who’ve said the decision to push Hayward as a starter at the beginning of the season may not have entirely been Stevens’ decision though.

…As for Horford, his reason for leaving is purely for money. The Celtics weren’t going to pay him what he was looking for. The timing with everything else is a coincidence. The Mavs, Clippers and Lakers have all expressed interest in him. We will have to wait at least until this Sunday evening at 6PM for Free Agency to begin and see who the Celtics may be looking to sign.

 

All that said, here is one noteworthy Free Agent signing that is all but official:

Image result for Boston Celtics Kemba Walker

 

Multiple outlets reported all week Charlotte Hornets Guard and 3-time All Star Kemba Walker is Shipping Up to Boston. As of this afternoon, Walker will sign a 4 year, $141 Million Max contract with the Celtics. Analists view him as a slight downgrade from the outgoing Kyrie Irving statistically. He is also a team player and won’t be a PR problem like Irving turned out to be on his way in and now on his way out of Boston. He could certainly be the missing piece Hayward, Brown and Tatum need to come together. The latest news states Walker wants to make it official ASAP.

That still leaves the Celtics in need of a big Center or two to replace Horford and Baines. DeAndre Jordan (Played with the Clippers but was delt to the Mavs as part of the 3-Team trade that sent Blake Griffin to Detroit, then traded to New York for Kristaps Porzingis), Tyler Zeller (Played in Boston for 3 years, released to free cap space to sign Gordon Hayward), Bismark Biyombo (would have to waive his Player Option but would join his teammate Kemba Walker in Boston if he does), Robin Lopez or even Greg Monroe (signed a 1-year contract with the Celtics after Hayward missed the previous season due to injury).

We’ll surely find out where the chips will fall as soon as Free Agency begins Sunday at 6PM EST!

 

Update 6/29/2019:

Image result for Boston Celtics Terry Rozier

 

The Celtics have renounced the rights to Restricted Free Agent Guard Terry Rozier, making him an Unrestricted Free Agent. The move was done to clear cap space ahead of the signing of Kemba Walker. Rozier, 29 was drafted by the Celtics and proved during the previous playoff run he can be a primary ball handler. Several teams have expressed interest in him and is now free to sign with whoever he wants.

You can’t help but feel for him–and dread the next time he faces the Celtics on the court. He’ll have vengeance on his mind for sure!

 

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