The Celtics are operating with a bit of mystery as they head into free agency. Unlike past seasons when the team was preparing to have significant salary cap room, their targets when free agency begins on June 30th are not quite as clear. There is a top tier of names that the C’s will surely try to get meetings with aren’t considered top contenders for their services. From there, Danny Ainge could go in several different directions.
There is going to be a glaring hole in the frontcourt after the expected departures of Al Horford and Aron Baynes, along with a less prominent absence in the backcourt due to the team’s draft and talent leftover. A strong case can be made for adding an elite big man or point guard to fit the team’s needs.
While the doom and gloom of losing Kyrie Irving and Al Horford is understandable and certainly not the team’s first choice, it does create a window of opportunity for the team. It’s safe to say the C’s will be opening up significant cap room this summer but only the team knows at this point just how much it will be. All of the various scenarios were outlined over the weekend here at BSJ.
When a team opens up cap room, their anticipated open cap room is not the only method they have to add talent. The Celtics will also gain access to the room-level exception upon using up their cap room.
The room-level exception is essentially a replacement for the mid-level exception for teams that start free agency under the cap. The Celtics used it with plenty of success two years ago