Who could Celtics target in free agency with new-found cap room?

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Hitting the reset option was not the ideal scenario for the Celtics this summer, but it's the path they look to be headed for with Kyrie Irving and Al Horford heading for new destinations. The one silver lining of their departures will be the fact that the Celtics will have some cap room to maneuver with this summer if they choose. There are going to be several different levels of cap room the Celtics can open up depending on which of their own players they have interest in retaining. Let's walk through a couple of likely scenarios before things

  • Celtics keep first-round picks and Terry Rozier's cap hold on the books, renounce Marcus Morris and all other free agents: $19.7 million in cap room
  • Celtics keep first-round picks and renounce Morris, Rozier and all other free agents: $28.7 million in cap room
  • Celtics trade away or stash first round picks and renounce Morris, Rozier and all other free agents: $32.7 million in cap room (enough for a max contract)

Option No. 3 feels the most unlikely route for the team to take. There are no realistic targets for the Celtics to nab with max salary cap room since guys like Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler will have more appealing options than the Celtics core upon hitting the open market. The ages of those guys don't make a lot of sense for the Celtics as well on their new timeline.

So let's take a step further back. Given the state of the Celtics roster, adding multiple young free agents with upside potential may be the best route for the Celtics to take as they try to pick up the pieces from the offseason.


All of these guys trend towards the younger side of things, which is appealing from a team-building standpoint to pair with Tatum and Brown. However, it is also going to be tougher to pry them away from their current teams due to matching rights. Overpays will be required in most cases in order to keep their current teams from retaining them. However, in some circumstances, these teams will have cap and tax issues to navigate, which could open the door for the Celtics to swoop in.

D’Angelo Russell
Age: 23
Position: PG
Overview: We talked about him a lot on Monday albeit in far different circumstances. He is the lone All-Star on this list but is going to cost close to max money ($25 million per year) to try him away from Brooklyn. Given that the Nets aren’t sold on bringing in Kyrie Irving as a solo act, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, Russell’s availability will depend on the Nets decision. He brings the offensive upside of Irving but shot selection and defense concerns would remain in place. It’s hard to justify investing the amount of money needed to bring him in.

Malcolm Brogdon
Age: 26
Position: G
Overview: One of the older restricted free agent candidates that you will ever see. There’s no doubt that the Bucks want to keep him but the Celtics or some other team could make life tough on them by offering a big offer sheet shortly after free agency begins. Brogdon was a 50-40-90 player last year but he does not project to be an All-Star. He would be a nice complement to Brown and Tatum but it’s hard to envision any scenario