What will the Celtics do this offseason?
This offseason has the potential to be one of the biggest in the history of the Boston Celtics. After another progressive year with Brad Stevens as head coach, the team will be looking to make the jump from middle of the pack in the eastern conference to title contender. With enough cap space to potentially sign two max players and a ton of draft picks, the team will be in a great position to acquire a star or maybe even two this summer. With all of the available options, I highlight a few that might be worth looking into.
Acquire a Star through Trade
Out of any of the options the team will have this summer, trading for an established player might be the most likely and also might help with the second option which I will discuss further in the next section. A few names to keep an eye on are DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Blake Griffin, and Paul George. All of these players would instantly make the Celtics a contender in the East depending on what they would need to give up. In all likelihood, the team would need to part with the Brooklyn pick from this year which right now has the 3rd best chance to be the number one pick in the draft. The team will also need to include young players such as Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, or Avery Bradley. Although these players have potential, the team should include them in a deal to acquire a top 15 player in the league.
Sign a Major Free Agent
Boston has not been a major player in free agency that often, but this year the team will have a chance to lure some of the top talent that could be on the market, including Kevin Durant and Al Horford. Durant will be the most sought after due to his standing as a top 5 player in the league and, if Boston can make other moves that will appeal to Durant, they might have a shot at landing the All-Star forward. In my opinion, the team would need to come to Durant with a trade in place for one of the aforementioned stars or have a deal in place with an Al Horford type talent. If the team were to accomplish that task, then I believe they would have a chance to sway Durant to leave Oklahoma City and head East. Signing a free agent might be a better move for the team, but they would need to have other established veterans in place to have a chance at luring a talent, like Durant, to Boston.
Build Through the Draft
The Celtics come into the offseason with three first round picks including one that will be no lower than number 6 overall. The team also has Brooklyn’s first rounder in 2018 and the right to swap next year, so the added draft capital will keep coming in. The third option the team could pursue would be to build through the draft and hope that they can develop a star of their own. If the team were to get a top 2 pick this year, they could hold onto it and select one of the presumed top two picks in either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. Both players have a ton of potential which would make trading away a chance at drafting one of them very difficult to do. There are also a few great shooters that will be available at the top of the draft in Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray and, if the team were to select one of those two, they would instantly improve their ability to shoot from the outside, which was a major issue last season.
In my opinion, the team should do whatever they can to trade their picks and young players for an established star and then try to lure Kevin Durant or Al Horford to team up with Isaiah Thomas. The team needs to set their hopes high because this is the year for them to cash in all of the assets they have been accumulating over the past few seasons. The team does have a nice set of young players, but I believe that all of them should be considered in a trade that might help them return to the top of the league. The Boston Celtics need this offseason to be a success so that they can continue to build toward something great and all three of the options I outlined above would give the team a chance to move their way up the eastern conference and get back to the NBA Finals.
Colby Gatz covers the Boston Celtics for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15.