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For the past two years, the Boston Celtics have been mentioned as a team that was expected to be active in free agency as well as at the NBA draft. Over that time, the Celtics have had two first round picks in each draft and, although they were rumored to either use their picks to move up or trade for an established player, they instead stayed put and selected four players. Another area where the Celtics had been rumored to be aggressive was the opening days of free agency. To the disappointment of many, the team’s biggest moves in those years involved resigning their own players. Although the team is armed with a treasure chest of draft picks and, in the case of this year had a lot of cap space, the team has been unable to land that marquee talent that they need to become contenders again.

Some Celtics fans are wondering if the time will ever come when the team will be a great destination for free agents or will be able to trade some of the assets they have accumulated for a star player. With another year of development from the team and given the position they will be in next offseason, I believe that the summer of 2016 will be the best chance for the Celtics to grab that elite talent that they desperately need.

The Celtics had a very smart offseason, although they lacked the ability to get top flight talent. The team signed two free agents and traded for a player that will have a great impact on next summer’s plans. Both Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko were signed to free agent deals that both have non-guaranteed second years. Also, the Celtics made a trade for David Lee, who will make over 15 million dollars in the last year of his deal. These moves, coupled with other players on the last year of their deals, give the Celtics enough cap space to sign two players to max deals next summer.

Now, having cap space does not guarantee that the Celtics will be able to sway two top players to sign in Boston, which is why they will probably need another plan of action, and they have a great one. The team will not only have their first round pick next summer, but they will also have the Brooklyn Nets first rounder, as well as the Dallas Mavericks first rounder, as long as the pick is outside of the top seven. The Nets have had an okay summer so far as they resigned both Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. The team also waived point guard Deron Williams which will no doubt have an impact on their play next season. Brooklyn was an eight seed last year and with the Eastern Conference getting stronger, the Nets will possibly miss the playoffs this upcoming season. The other draft pick belongs to the Dallas Mavericks who made the playoffs last season, but have had quite a bit of turnover on their roster which makes their playoff chances seem cloudy as well.

What this means for the Celtics is that they could potentially have two lottery picks no matter what they do this season which would be great for a team that will be looking to make some noise in the offseason. The team could use their three first round picks to trade up or they could package them for an established star. This move would be a great way to start the offseason, to let free agents know that they are ready to contend.

Although this offseason is not over yet, the odds that the team will cash in with their assets seems unlikely. Next summer, after the season plays out and the league knows where the Celtics picks will be, would be a great time to start looking for potential trades. If trading their draft picks does not work out, the team can always just use their cap space to try to get some of the best available players to come to Boston. General Manager Danny Ainge will always be looking for ways to improve the team and next summer might be the best chance he will have to make the Celtics title contenders once again.

 

Colby Gatz covers the Boston Celtics for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15.

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