Now that the Boston Celtics have some sort of direction after dealing with the Gordon Hayward situation, the question that needs to be asked now is what comes next?
The Celtics have a loaded roster right now, as well as a $28M trade exception that the team got from the sign-and-trade with Charlotte. There aren’t many free agents the Celtics can go after and sign at this point, and if they did, they’d have to make room for that player.
I think the Celtics are in a good spot heading into next season. This offseason could’ve been a lot worse, but Danny Ainge always has a few tricks up his sleeve. Even though the Celtics lost Hayward, Ainge found a way to fill out the roster and address team needs.
Two things Boston needed to add were shooters and better big men. Well, the Celtics added two pretty good shooters in rookies Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard. They added Tristan Thompson, who, no matter which way you look at it, is an upgrade for the team. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he’ll make an immediate impact.
Along with Thompson, Ainge added Jeff Teague to the mix. This isn’t a fantastic signing, but it also isn’t a bad one. Teague isn’t anything like he used to be, but he adds veteran experience to both the bench and starting lineup. I believe that Teague was brought in as a backup for Boston for when Kemba is out. He’s not the best, but he can hold his own as the starting point guard.
I believe the Celtics are one solid addition away from being better than they were last season. They’re close, but they need one more scorer/shooter off the bench and I think this team is just fine.
I think Danny Ainge should entertain using the trade exception and see what’s out there, but I also believe he should hold off on using it until the next offseason. Ainge can see what happens over the next year and will have more options at that point.
In my opinion, Boston should look to make another small trade or signing to bring on one more player. There are a few bench players Boston can package in a trade to make salaries match.
I don’t think Danny Ainge is done yet, but if he is, he did a fantastic job with the team this offseason. He put the Celtics in a great spot even with the cards he was dealt to begin free agency. Losing Hayward sucked at the time, but it all worked out. This team is ultimately going to be better off without him, anyway.
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