Red's Army

10 free agents the Celtics should target

Alex Kungu June 30, 2015 Free Agency 28 Comments

Tobias Harris

With free agency hours away, Boston will be looking to make some improvements on a roster that is unbalanced, and still lacking any true star talent. Fans who day-dream about Marc Gasol, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, or Draymond Green wearing green next season are in for a rude awakening. The list compiled here are guys that Celtics have a legit chance at getting ranked from top priority to lowest. Adding in the projected contracts of Terry Rozier and R.J Hunter, but not the non-guaranteed deals of Phil Pressey and Chris Babb the Celtics will have about $26,689,088 of cap space. They also have the $12.9 million trade exception from Rajon Rondo, and the $7 million from the Tayshaun Prince deal which could come in handy as we saw last year. So without further ado here is my free agency wish list for the Boston Celtics.

1. Tobias Harris

Last season: 17.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.8apg, 16.76 PER

Right now Harris should be our number one priority. He’s 22, can play either forward position, and has all-star potential. Last season his three-point percentage shot up to 36.4%, and has shown the ability to create for himself.  Harris is a restricted free agent, but with the Magic picking Mario Hezonja in the draft, they will likely be hesitant to sign him to the max contract offer he could get from Boston. Harris can instantly come in and fill a need, and with his ability to play the stretch four he could play alongside James Young to provide a dynamic scoring attack.

2. Roy Hibbert

Last season: 10.6ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.6bpg, 15.47 PER

Hibbert has gotten a lot of criticism for his inconsistency and lackluster playoff performances. Indiana tried to bully him out of opting in to his deal, but he opted in, and the Pacers are hellbent on sending him packing. However, they understand that a 7 footer who is a good shot-blocker and solid post defender is worth more than a salary dump so the Celtics may have to part ways with some assets. Possibly a Gerald Wallace and rights to Marcus Thornton along with a couple of second round picks could get the Celtics the rim protector they need. The change of scenery, and playing for a new contract could give Hibbert new life, and the Celtics their center for the next 4-5 years.

ed. note: This was written before Hibbert opted in. I mistakenly left it in before posting it today – John

3. Robin Lopez

Last Season: 9.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.4bpg, 16.26 PER

Was very underrated playing for the Trailblazers, but he is an absolute defensive force. At this stage of his career he knows how to play to within himself, and is very efficient. He’ll give the Celtics a guy who can defend a teams best post scorer without the need to double team, and is a talented rim protector. Probably not your long-term option, but a respectable talent that can hide some of the defensive challenged players on the roster.

4. Kevin Love

Last Season: 16.4ppg, 9.7rpg, 2.2apg, 18.89 PER

I’m personally not the biggest fan of Love coming here, but I understand a guy with his talent would make this team favorites to be a top 5 seed in the conference. I think his lack of versatility defensively kind of limits the creativity a bit of Brad Stevens, and limits guys who can play the 3 and 4 to use that versatility. Now if Love was a good defender this wouldn’t be a problem, but he’s not, and without Rondo I’m not sure how much I like his fit anymore. However, he would provide a post-scoring presence, stretch the floor, run the pick and roll, and can throw a mean outlet pass. So if we get him I wouldn’t be too mad, but it also probably means we wouldn’t get Tobias Harris who is younger, more versatile, and walking into his prime.

5. Paul Pierce 

Last Season: 11.9ppg, 2.0apg, 4.0rpg, 15.23 PER

Forget the numbers, and what he brings in terms of production on the basketball court. This is Paul Pierce. Unless you’ve been asleep the last sixteen years I don’t need to tell you what that means. If he could just throw on the green for one last season, mentor our young guys, and lead them in the playoffs it could do wonders in the development department. Pierce gave the youthful Wizards team last year a man that they could listen to because they know what type of success he’s had in this league. He wouldn’t demand many minutes at this stage of his career, so it wouldn’t affect lineups much. But a vintage playoff performance or two would be absolutely worth it.

6. Ed Davis

Last Season: 8.3ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.2bpg, 20.0 PER

This could be a steal for the Celtics in free agency. Davis was a very productive player for the Lakers who was active on the boards, protects the rim, and knows how to play within himself. He’s lengthy and athletic which makes him a valuable alley-oop target, and he’s versatile defender who can guard the pick and roll. He’ll be cheap, and though he’s a horrendous free throw shooter (56.6% career average) could be very effective teamed up with Tyler Zeller as a offense-defense tandem. These are the type of guys that Stevens usually molds into legit contributors.

7. Jae Crowder 

Last Season: 7.7ppg, 1.1apg, 3.6rpg, 13.93 PER

Crowder is a versatile and fearless defender who brings attitude and embodies what it means to be a Boston Celtic. Entering only his 4th year in the league at 25 there’s still some untapped potential, and the Celtics have already made it known that they want to keep him. If he can improve his three-point shot, he becomes a player that you can play anywhere from the  2-5 (center may only be for two games a season), and he will be at the top of the Celtics wish list. The only other team rumored to want him so far were the Dallas Mavericks, but after selecting Justin Anderson in this year’s draft they might not be as inclined to get in a mini bidding war with the Celtics.

8. Al-Farouq Aminu

Last Season: 5.6ppg, 0.8apg, 4.6rpg, 14.45 PER

Aminu was the unsung hero for Dallas during their  run in the postseason by doing a little bit of everything. Aminu is a versatile player who’s very active on the glass, and uses his length to bother shots. With his athleticism, Aminu is a nice pick and roll target, and he plays with a high motor.  His willingness to throw his body and passion will win Celtics fans over instantly, but he should be looked at as a backup plan in the case we can’t sign re-sign Jae Crowder.

9. Kosta Koufos

Last Season: 5.2ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.8bpg, 14.21 PER

Solid big who played behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. He can do a little bit of everything and knows how to play within himself. He’s a lot more defensive oriented, and playing with Stevens he’ll be put in a great position to succeed, and will probably have increased scoring numbers. His toughness will be much-needed in a soft front-court, but he’ll be another big who would have a hard time separating himself from Tyler Zeller.

10.  Omeir Asik

Last Season: 7.3ppg, 9.8rpg, 0.7bpg, 15.49 PER

Defensive anchor who can rebound well. Won’t give you anything on the offensive end, and can isn’t athletic which could lead to a lot of space clogging. If the Celtics target Asik it’s most likely because all the other options are gone.

We’re about 10 hours from free agency. Buckle up.

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  • adam

    I believe Hibbert opted in.

  • Jaedre

    yessssss…. give Tobias the max… he been in the league 4-5 years the max for him wont be nothing come next year… trade for Hibbert and hope the change of scenery makes him play like he could

    • Mike Spoon

      I like that move, Hibbert I mean. He is a great buy low candidate, and we can soak up most of his contract with one of our trade exceptions. I can’t imagine he would cost more than our pick next year, or the Mavs pick (the Brooklyn pick has to be borderline untouchable at this point).

  • Wootay

    They should work a sign and trade with someone. I believe they have a exemption for about 13.8 million if they could get Harris or someone close to that level would be nice to use since it will expire anyways and it will allow another one or two tier 2 free agents next season. Or I could be completely wrong

  • Andrew

    1. Sign Tobias Harris
    2. Sign Omer Asik or Kostas Koufus
    3. Sign Paul Pierce
    4. Bring in a shooter somehow via trade with those exceptions

    • Curt Hays

      Dude, we have a shooter. We have James Young. He has SO MUCH POTENTIAL.

      Seriously though, I hope RJ Hunter drop bombs all year for us.

      • Andrew

        I agree with you on both points but the celtics need an established shooter on the roster like Bellinelli

        • Curt Hays

          Bellinelli actually wouldn’t be that bad. Good point.

          I was being sarcastic about James Young. I really do think he could be great, but he better do it soon…

          • Andrew

            Young has a lot of potential but IMO i don’t think he’ll live up to it i hope he does but i dont think he will, Celtics need an experienced shooter like Bellinelli or Dunleavy or something, this celtics team was horrible shooting 3’s last year and need a consistent shooter

      • Astarot

        I won’t believe it till I see it with Young. That’d have to be huge and I mean huge step forward this year to prove the kind of potential you got in mind.

        • Curt Hays

          I was being sarcastic about Young. I agree with you.

          His genes give him a high ceiling, but so did the genes of Fab Melo.

  • Adam Stark

    Sign Harris and Monroe both 4 year

    • Sean

      I like this scenario the best. Rather include turner than Bradley but beggars can’t be choosers. You lose points for forgetting the Truth though.

  • romeo0119

    Bring back Paul Pierce!!

  • Curt Hays

    If we do a sign-and-trade, can we sign Paul Pierce with the Paul Pierce trade exception?

    • Curt Hays

      Nope, that TPE is gone, but we do have Rondo’s…we have a LOT of TPE money.

  • Frank Aziza

    Anyway we can get Harris, Robin Lopez and Peirce?

    • Mike Spoon

      probably not. I think we have around 24 million. Harris is gonna cost around 15-17, Lopez around 12. So getting both is out of the question. Pierce, who the hell knows. He might even sign a vet minimum just to retire a C.

      I think Kosta would be a cheaper option over Lopez if we manage to sign Harris. Does a lot of the same things as Lopez, and I think Stevens would get the most out of him on the offensive end.

      • Astarot

        Good God Lopez for 12 guess you’re right tough that’s how market looks like even for mediocre bigs these days (sad).

        • Mike Spoon

          Yep. Zach Lowe’s article said Portland has been gearing up to compete with 12 million dollar offers for RoLo. I think he’s above average though. He is a giant plus on the defensive side, average rebounder for position, and slightly below average on offense. I think that adds up to an above average player. The cap is exploding, which has a lot to do with that number. I think he’s probably “worth” around 8.

          • Astarot

            Yeah I’d say he’s true value is between 8-9/yr but FA is never about “true value” especially if we talking about guys on C slot.

      • Frank Aziza

        I want Harris or the kid from the bucks , Middleton

  • Astarot

    Harris is a obvious choice here cuz they need legit SF and he’s the guy with the biggest upside on that list. But those bigs…..apart from Love, Asik is my guy cuz of his D, the rest forget it not worth a long term investment (maybe some 1yr +1yr deal is one of them is willing to take that) I was thinking about Koufos but I’d say you can get better guy in 2016 or2017 draft thanks to that Broklyn picks. I would add Monroe to that list (not the biggest fan of him cuz of the problems on D) but good rebounder and well who wants to play in Detroit, and Matthews (some 2yr deal with option in the second).

  • Brandon

    Celtics can’t even get top-tier free agents to even look at the place. Is it that Boston isn’t a sexy town like NYC, LA, or MIA, or is it because the Celtics don’t know how to market (which I don’t really think is a problem).

    It’s true we haven’t had much cap space to sign a big name in a while, but it seems when we do, FAs still don’t want any part of it.

    Message to LaMarcus Aldridge: What is it about Boston that turns you off?

    • wil

      I agree about the marketing. Most of the players that play for the C’s want to stay. But we dont really see players wanting to be a Celtic.

  • wil

    Worse free agency ever, lol i saw on twitter than even Kanter is asking for max lmfao

    If C’s signed AB to a 8m a year deal, i think we can atleast offer Harris atleast 12mil a year

  • Lee in Oregon

    Apparently GiGi is not a part of future plans. Most of us know Boston is one of the better cities in North America. It’s not so much that it’s a cold place in winter, it’s that we are a long way from being serious competitors. Tough when you’re biggest asset is the coach. The way Danny can get stars is through trades. Once this thing in Sac-town goes to crap, a guy like Boogie or Rudy Gay might be available. The way to get Harris is to Max him out so Orlando won’t match, a la Chandler Parsons.

  • Sean

    Any way to get Monroe,pierce, and harris?