Boston Celtics’ fans were likely disappointed when the Celtics did not make a bold move leading up to Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
The team held the sixth-overall and 17th-overall selections and were reportedly looking to package them, along with other assets, to acquire a star like Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love. Instead, they selected former Oklahoma State Cowboys’ point guard Marcus Smart and former Kentucky Wildcats’ swingman James Young.
Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston believes the Celtics could be a major player in the 2015-2016 offseason because of much salary comes off of the books.
Even if you add roster hopeful Colton Iverson to that mix, it’s still an eight-man group at a commitment of approximately $14 million. Early projections put the salary cap for the 2015-16 season at $66.5 million. Now, with salary-cap holds, it’s not as simple as suggesting the Celtics would have $52.5 million to play with. That said, the team would likely have a sizable amount to work with on the free-agent market, all while figuring out what Rajon Rondo’s future is here.
There’s still an awful lot of work to get to that point, but the suggestion is this: If Boston can be fiscally responsible this offseason — maybe splurging only to bring back Avery Bradley at a reasonable cost or only adding long-term contracts for players who can help down the road — then the team could really position itself well to be a long-term contender starting next summer.
Love, Portland Trail Blazers’ power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Memphis Grizzlies’ center Marc Gasol and Charlotte Hornets’ big man Al Jefferson can all become free agents in 2015.