The upcoming Celtics offseason is vital for the team’s success next season. Let’s face it, their current lineup isn’t ready to make a run for the title and go head-to-head with bigger teams such as the Nets and Sixers.
Celtics offseason preview 2021
Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens also won’t go anywhere. It’s just pure bad luck that the Celtics didn’t have a fully healthy season with COVID-19 and injuries plaguing their roster. We can’t entirely put the blame on those two for all the misfortunes this year.
With that said, the Celtics offseason should prioritize the following if they’re going to contend:
Explore trade options
The Celtics have tight cap space which gives them little to no flexibility in signing big names. Thus, they need to entertain trade offers for Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Tristan Thompson, and some of their bench players. If they can land a good piece that compliments Brown and Tatum, then they should do it for the right deal.
Kemba is already 31 years old and plagued with knee injuries. He just isn’t the same anymore. Add to that the fact that he struggles defensively because of his size. While he still has name value, they should move him to get the right piece. The Celtics don’t need another ball-dominant star, they need someone who can thrive as the third option.
Smart is a good facilitator and a great defender. However, he dominates the ball sometimes which isn’t ideal if you’re building around Tatum and Brown. They should explore getting the right piece by throwing in Smart in the deal. After all, teams covet his defense.
Add big man depth
Robert Williams has been a revelation this season with his crazy athleticism and elite shot-blocking ability. However, it’s hard to rely on Timelord given his injury history and fouling.
Thompson has been an okay backup center. But an upgrade over him is very welcome.
Sure, size isn’t Stevens’ main concern. But they need to solidify the PF and C positions to at least throw bodies against the likes of Joel Embiid. If the Celtics are going to contend, they will face a lot of elite big men along the way in the postseason.
The Celtics can also take the draft route. They could draft a solid big man like Texas’ Kai Jones, Kentucky’s Isaiah Jackson, or Real Madrid’s Usman Garuba.
Re-signing him gives the Cs a solid sixth man who can facilitate and score. His game compliments Tatum and Brown very well and provides a much-needed spark off the bench.
As you already know, the Celtics have tight cap space, and re-signing Fournier puts them over the cap. The question is how much are they willing to pay him? A sign and trade could be potentially on the table as well.
Develop Pritchard, Nesmith, and Langford
Payton Pritchard is the facilitator the Cs need who can play off the ball as well. If they decide to move either Kemba or Smart, Pritchard will have a higher role offensively.
Aaron Nesmith has also been good off the bench. After struggling the first half of the season, he’s finally hitting his stride since April. He will definitely be a major part of their rotation next season as one of their best 3 and D players.
Barring injury, Romeo Langford showed some defensive potential. While the defense is already there, he should continue developing his offensive game in the summer. And of course, stay healthy.
They should focus on the development of these three in the upcoming Celtics offseason.