On the eve of free agency, the big question is whether President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens and the Celtics front office has done enough? Jaylen Brown still has another season left on his rookie extension with presumably a supermax contract coming next month. Boston does have other decisions looming though.
First and foremost is Grant Williams’ restricted free agency. The team extended a qualifying offer to the four-year pro on Thursday as a matter of formality. Here’s former CelticsBlogger and Spotrac’s Keith Smith on what could be the Celtics’ biggest decision over the next few days:
As for the rest of the roster, the Celtics are right up against the super tax line. That means they are basically re-signing Grant Williams, moving him in a sign-and-trade or losing him for nothing. Even if Williams leaves town, Boston may not find enough wiggle room to use the $5 million Taxpayer MLE.
Grant Williams talks potential Celtics return, free agency, and Marcus Smart trade
If Williams signs an offer sheet, Boston will have 24 hours to match, but regardless of that outcome (and whether or not they’ll be armed with the taxpayer mid-level exception, they’ll still have the rest of the roster to fill out. Here’s the current depth chart at head coach Joe Mazzulla’s disposal:
Ball handlers: Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon, Payton PritchardWings: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Sam Hauser, Justin Champagnie (non-guaranteed), Jordan Walsh (drafted)Bigs: Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, Robert Williams, Luke Kornet (non-guaranteed)
That could be up to five roster spots up for grabs heading into the offseason with several questions to answer. Will Brogdon be healed — physically and mentally — after nearly being traded to the Clippers? Can Pritchard slot in as the third guard in the rotation? Could the Celtics use another wing to shore up their depth behind the Jays? Should the back end of the roster be used for regular season depth and development or fortified with ring-chasing veterans? Will Blake Griffin be the face of the Bus 1 Boys again?
Before free agency starts at 6 pm EST, here are some suggestions from our CelticsBlog staff: