On June 20, the NBA draft changed the lives of many. The league welcomed a new class of rookies including Boston Celtics draft picks Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters.
This wasn’t a bad draft for the Celtics, but Boston still has a long way to go with their rebuilding process before the start of the season. While Boston acquired four players in the draft, they also signed 7-foot-6 inch center Tacko Fall, who gained hype purely due to his size.
Even though the Celtics drafted a range of talent and players who do different things, none of these guys are going to have a huge impact on the team this year. They may all fill role player positions that end up being pivotal as a whole, but not one of these players will bring Boston a championship based on what they solely bring to the table.
That being said, Boston has a lot of work to do and they also have the resources to do it. After Boston learned that Al Horford plans on leaving with Kyrie Irving, it left them with about $35 million in cap room.
First things first, the Celtics need a point guard that can lead the team. Irving obviously is not the guy for the job, and neither Rozier or Smart are talented enough to fill the burden Irving has left.
Some available free agents at point guard include Kemba Walker and DeAngelo Russell, who are the two guards that most Celtics fans want to see on the team. There have been some talks about Ricky Rubio being on the Celtics, but it’s safer for Boston to get somebody who can score.
According to Mark Stein of the New York Times, Dallas and Boston are the front-runners to land Kemba Walker. This would be an ideal scenario for Celtics fans and for the team itself. Walker has the ability to be a leader in the locker room while being the best player on his team.
While I would rather have Russell who is younger and heading into his prime, there is no question that Walker is more of a leader than Russell. The Celtics are desperate for someone who can guide their young stars, so Walker may be the best fit.
Getting a point guard won’t solve all of Boston’s problems, though. The Celtics are also in need of a big man. Horford is more than likely gone and the Celtics traded Baynes during the draft so they could get more cap space, so it’s either start Robert Williams or sign a center for Boston.
I think most people would agree that Williams is not ready to start, and his only backup is Guerschon Yabusele, so depth at the center position is non-existent.
I wouldn’t mind if Williams got decent playing time, as I think he can be really good in the near future, but he is not ready just yet. The only problem here is there really isn’t that many free agent centers this off season.
Nikola Vucevic is probably the best option right now and he showed that he can’t perform in the playoffs. DeMarcus Cousins is also out there but he’s too injury-prone and also didn’t show up in the NBA Finals.
Some other options include Brook Lopez, DeAndre Jordan, Willie Cauley-Stein, Enes Kanter, etc. While these guys are all viable options, none of them are great or preferable alternatives.
Despite the market not being the most enticing, I would still rather have the Celtics get somebody in free agency rather than trade for a center. There were some rumors about Boston trading for Clint Capela earlier this offseason and it looked like they were prepared to give up too much.
Whether or not Boston lands any big free agents this summer, their time as a top-three team in the Eastern Conference may be over. This offseason will play a big part in the team’s success for the next few years, so Danny Ainge must be active and ready to do whatever it takes.