6 Potential Celtics Offseason Scenarios

Image: NBA.com

 

With the disappointing 2018-19 Celtics season over, I’ve decided to look forward into this upcoming summer to see what the Celtics could potentially do with their roster. Let’s take a look at what I could come up with…


Quick note before we dive in, here are the teams’ free agents and players under contract for the Celtics during this upcoming 2019 offseason:

Free Agents

Marcus Morris (UFA)

Brad Wanamaker (UFA)

Daniel Theis (UFA)

Jonathan Gibson (UFA)

R.J. Hunter (UFA)

P.J. Dozier (UFA)

Terry Rozier (RFA)

Kyrie Irving (UFA – PO)

Al Horford (UFA – PO)

Aron Baynes (UFA – PO)

Under Contract

Gordon Hayward ($32.7m)

Marcus Smart ($12.6m)

Jayson Tatum ($7.8m)

Jaylen Brown ($6.5m)

Guerschon Yabusele ($3.1m)

Robert Williams ($1.9m)

Semi Ojeleye ($1.6m)

Demetrius Jackson ($92k) (Dead Cap)

Kyrie Irving ($21.3m)*

Al Horford ($30.1m)*

Aron Baynes ($5.5m)*

($66.2m w/o Irving, Horford, and Baynes)

($71.7m w/ Baynes)

($96.3m w/ Horford)

($87.5m w/ Irving)

($101.8m w/ Horford and Baynes)

($117.6m w/ Irving and Horford)

($93m w/ Irving and Baynes)

($123.1m w/ Irving, Horford, and Baynes)

Ok now let’s really dive in…


 

Image: BarstoolSports.com

Scenario 1 – Build a Competitive Roster

Team Free Agents

Marcus Morris (2yr/$20m – Brings toughness and big shot making to the table)

Brad Wanamaker (Let Walk – Plenty of Defensive guards like Wanamaker on the market)

Daniel Theis (Let Walk – Will be replaced in the draft)

Jonathan Gibson (Let Walk – Great scorer, but ultimately doesn’t fill a need off the bench)

R.J. Hunter (Let Walk – Good shooter, but there’s plenty of those out there, doesn’t give much elsewhere but effort)

P.J. Dozier (Let Walk – Could turn into an all-around decent player, but I wouldn’t bet on anything, there’s a lot of athletic wings like Dozier out on the market)

Terry Rozier (Let Walk – Too ball dominant and is very streaky, stops the bench’s offense)

Kyrie Irving (Let Walk – This provides more shots to the young guys and gives the Celtics more ball movement and space on offense, also takes away significant defensive mismatches)

Al Horford (4yr/$59m – Horford opts out of contract to restructure contract, receives $14m each year over the next 2 years to (almost) make up the $30m that would come this upcoming year, gets paid $15m in 2021-22 and $16m in 2022-23, which would be more than he’d likely get anywhere else at his age)

Aron Baynes (1yr/$5.5m – Baynes opts into his current contract)

Drafted Players

14th Pick – Bol Bol ($2m – Have been in rumors for a while, a big man who can block shots and shoot the 3)

20th Pick – Kevin Porter Jr. ($1.8m – A scoring guard, who can help create offense on the bench)

22nd Pick – Ty Jerome ($1.7m – A consistent guard, who can shoot it, he has the potential to be a solid starter one day)

51st Pick – Bryce Brown ($75k – Most Likely a Two-Way player that will develop in Maine)

Free Agents

Shelvin Mack (2yr/$6m – Former Brad Stevens product at Butler, has been bragged about for year, Stevens could want him in the system)

Alec Burks (1yr/$4m – Provides spark plug scoring off the bench for a cheaper price)

Hassan Martin (1yr/$75k – A two-way player that will come from overseas, former Celtics Summer League member)

Scenario 1 Roster

Gordon Hayward ($32.7m)

Al Horford ($14m)

Marcus Smart ($12.6m)

Marcus Morris ($10m)

Jayson Tatum ($7.8m)

Jaylen Brown ($6.5m)

Aron Baynes ($5.5m)

Alec Burks ($4m)

Guerschon Yabusele ($3.1m)

Shelvin Mack ($3m)

Bol Bol ($2m)

Robert Williams ($1.9m)

Kevin Porter Jr. ($1.8m)

Ty Jerome ($1.7m)

Semi Ojeleye ($1.6m)

Bryce Brown ($75k)

Hassan Martin ($75k)

Total Money: (~$107.8m)

Positional Roster

G – Marcus Smart

G – Jaylen Brown

F – Jayson Tatum

F – Gordon Hayward

C – Al Horford

G – Shelvin Mack

G – Alec Burks

F – Marcus Morris

F – Bol Bol

C – Aron Baynes

G – Kevin Porter Jr.

G – Ty Jerome

F – Semi Ojeleye

F – Guerschon Yabusele

C – Robert Williams

G – Bryce Brown (2-Way)

F – Hassan Martin (2-Way)

Final Roster Synopsis – This Roster will stay competitive in the East, but will have a lot of questions on whether they can compete for a title. The rookies will most likely not get a ton of run, next to a couple of vets, but could be valuable down the line. The offensive style of the roster should be free roaming. Not a lot of dominant shot takers, a lot of ball movement and learning.


Image: BleacherReport.com

Scenario 2 – Go All In

 

Team Free Agents

Marcus Morris (Let Walk – Not enough cap to bring him back, might not fit in with the current system with 2 stars)

Brad Wanamaker (Let Walk – Takes up cap space, plenty of defensive guards out there like Wanamaker)

Daniel Theis (Let Walk – Will be replaced with draft pick)

Jonathan Gibson (Let Walk – Plenty of combo guards on the market, won’t fit in well with the bench)

R.J. Hunter (Let Walk – Plenty of guys like Hunter on the market)

P.J. Dozier (1 year/$1m – Another bench wing that could partially fill an absence of Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward)

Terry Rozier (Let Walk – Doesn’t have a place on the new look Celtics)

Kyrie Irving (5yr/$190 – All-NBA talent to pair next to Anthony Davis)

Al Horford (4yr/$59m – Again, Horford opts out of contract to restructure contract, receives $14m each year over the next 2 years to (almost) make up the $30m that would come this upcoming year, gets paid $15m in 2021-22 and $16m in 2022-23, which would be more than he’d likely get anywhere else at his age)

Aron Baynes (1yr/$5.5m – Aron Baynes will opt into the 2nd year of his current contract)

Draft Picks

22nd Pick – Shamorie Ponds ($1.7m – A ball-handling guard, who plays scrappy, can play a role off the bench)

51st Pick – Admiral Schofield ($75k – Physical defender, will fit well in the Ojeleye Factory)

Trades

Boston Receives: Anthony Davis ($27m)

New Orleans Receives: Gordon Hayward ($32.7m), Jayson Tatum ($7.8m), 2019 1st Round Pick ($2m), 2019 1st Round Pick ($1.8m), 2020 1st Round Pick (MEM)

Free Agents

Jared Dudley (1yr/$2.4m – Has been rumored to be interested in signing with Boston, would provide a veteran presence on a championship-hungry roster)

Troy Daniels (1yr/$1.5m – A shooter, who can add guard depth to the bench)

Scenario 2 Roster

Kyrie Irving ($38m)

Anthony Davis ($25m)

Al Horford ($14m)

Marcus Smart ($12.6m)

Jaylen Brown ($6.5m)

Aron Baynes ($5.5m)

Guerschon Yabusele ($3.1m)

Jared Dudley ($2.4m)

Troy Daniels ($2m)

Robert Williams ($1.9m)

Shamorie Ponds ($1.7m)

Semi Ojeleye ($1.6m)

P.J. Dozier ($1m)

Admiral Schofield ($75k)

Total Money (~$115.4)

Positional Roster

G – Kyrie Irving

G – Marcus Smart

F – Jaylen Brown

F – Anthony Davis

C – Al Horford

G – Shamorie Ponds

F – Jared Dudley

F – Semi Ojeleye

F – Guerschon Yabusele

C – Robert Williams

G – Troy Daniels

F – P.J. Dozier

F – Admiral Schofield

Final Roster Synopsis – This roster will be contending for a championship, with both Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis on the roster. The hard part would be getting Kyrie to re-sign, but with an Anthony Davis trade going through, he could be persuaded. The bench isn’t very deep but has young talent that could end up taking another step next season. The roster would dip into the luxury tax, however, there’s always a price to pay when putting together a championship team.

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Image: BleacherReport.com

Scenario 3 – Let the Young Guys Play

Team Free Agents

Marcus Morris (Let Walk – Will only take away shots from the developing young guys)

Brad Wanamaker (Let Walk – Again, lot of guards out there like Wanamaker)

Daniel Theis (Let Walk – Will again be replaced in the draft)

Jonathan Gibson (1yr/$1m – Will prove himself and provide scoring off the bench to a team that might need it with all the young guys taking over)

R.J. Hunter (Let Walk – Again, a lot of Hunter-like players out there, he’d likely get a better opportunity somewhere else)

P.J. Dozier (1yr/$2m – Will fill out the roster and will have a year to prove himself on a team that will provide plenty of opportunities)

Terry Rozier (Let Walk – The Celtics would contemplate having Rozier back in this scenario, however the money just wouldn’t be worth it)

Kyrie Irving (Let Walk – This team is all about the young guys, having a guy like Kyrie around would blur that vision)

Al Horford (4yr/$59m – Again, Horford opts out of contract to restructure contract, receives $14m each year over the next 2 years to (almost) make up the $30m that would come this upcoming year, gets paid $15m in 2021-22 and $16m in 2022-23, which would be more than he’d likely get anywhere else at his age)

Aron Baynes (1yr/$5.5m – Baynes opts back into his current contract)

Draft Picks

14th Pick – Darius Garland ($2m – Predicting Garland to fall to the 14th pick might be a stretch, but if it happens the Celtics pick him up and make him the main ball handler off the bench)

20th Pick – Tyler Herro ($1.8m – Herro will provide some shooting off the bench, his all-around game needs to develop, but he could be a nice role player down the road)

22nd Pick – Matisse Thybulle ($1.7m – A good defensive forward, who already has an NBA body)

51st Pick – Killian Tille ($75k – A smart passing big man, who will most likely find himself in the two-way category)

Free Agents

Elfrid Payton (2yr/$20m – A smarter, playmaking guard, who can run the offense when Tatum, Brown, and Garland are off the floor)

James Nunnally (1yr/$75k – The Celtics showed interest in Nunnally last season and could give him two-way considering)

Scenario 3 Roster

Gordon Hayward ($32.7m)

Al Horford ($14m)

Marcus Smart ($12.6m)

Elfrid Payton ($10m)

Jayson Tatum ($7.8m)

Jaylen Brown ($6.5m)

Aron Baynes ($5.5m)

Guerschon Yabusele ($3.1m)

Darius Garland ($2m)

P.J. Dozier ($2m)

Robert Williams ($1.9m)

Tyler Herro ($1.8m)

Matisse Thybulle ($1.7m)

Semi Ojeleye ($1.6m)

Jonathan Gibson ($1m)

James Nunnally ($75k)

Killian Tillie ($75k)

Total Money (~$104.2m)

Positional Roster

G – Marcus Smart

G – Jaylen Brown

F – Jayson Tatum

F – Gordon Hayward

C – Al Horford

G – Darius Garland

G – Tyler Herro

F – Matisse Thybulle

F – Semi Ojeleye

C – Aron Baynes

G – Jonathan Gibson

G – Elfrid Payton

G – P.J. Dozier

F – Guerschon Yabusele

C- Robert Williams

F – Killian Tillie (Two-Way)

F – James Nunnally (Two-Way)

Final Roster Synopsis – This roster would not be a championship roster, but would have hope of being one in the future. It would be a year of the young guys, letting them spread their wings and fly. It would be a streaky team that we’d all be excited about.

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Image: NESN.com

Scenario 4 – Replace Kyrie with AD

 

Team Free Agents

Marcus Morris (2yr/$20m – The Celtics will need to fill out the roster and a guy like Morris, who can bring scoring and toughness to the table, he could be valuable)

Brad Wanamaker (1yr/$2m – Brad Wanamaker would get a nice run on this team, as the main ball handler off the bench, he’d no doubt get more of a chance to prove himself)

Daniel Theis (Let Walk – Wouldn’t be too great of a fit on a team with an abundant amount of bigs)

Jonathan Gibson (Let Walk – Replaceable pieces lay on the market)

R.J. Hunter (Let Walk – Not much Hunter could do on a roster like this)

P.J. Dozier (Let Walk – More opportunities await for Dozier)

Terry Rozier (Let Walk – Would not have a place on this new look Celtics team, just wouldn’t be worth the money)

Kyrie Irving (Let Walk – This wouldn’t be the Celtics decision, but Kyrie’s own)

Al Horford (4yr/$51m – This Horford restructuring will be a bit different, as he’ll get $10m in year 1, $12m in year 2, $14m in year 3, and finally $15m in year 4, it would pay less early on, but be made up down the line)

Aron Baynes (1yr/$5.5m – Aron Baynes will opt back into his current contract)

Draft Picks

20th Pick – Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($1.8m – A lengthy guard who will play smart off the bench)

22nd Pick – Bruno Fernando ($1.7m – A defensive, rebounding big man, who already has the physicality of an NBA player, I could see Ainge being interested, as he potentially trades away Robert Williams)

36th Pick – Luguentz Dort ($1m – A physical defensive guard/forward, who will fill a role in filling out the Celtics roster)

Trades

Boston Receives: Anthony Davis ($25m)

New Orleans Receives: Jayson Tatum ($7.8m), Guerschon Yabusele ($3.1m), Robert Williams ($1.9m), 2019 1st Round Pick ($2.4m), 2020 1st Round Pick (MEM)

Boston Receives: 36th Pick ($1m)

Charlotte Receives: 51st Pick ($75k), 2020 2nd Round Pick (BOS), 2021 2nd Round Pick (BOS)

Free Agents

Thomas Robinson (1yr/$1m – Robinson signed with the Red Claws just this past season to receive and opportunity with the Celtics, he may get his chance on this roster)

Scenario 4 Roster

Gordon Hayward ($32.7m)

Anthony Davis ($25m)

Marcus Smart ($12.6m)

Al Horford ($10m)

Marcus Morris ($10m)

Jaylen Brown ($6.5m)

Aron Baynes ($5.5m)

Brad Wanamaker ($2m)

Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($1.8m)

Bruno Fernando ($1.7m)

Semi Ojeleye ($1.6m)

Luguentz Dort ($1m)

Thomas Robson ($1m)

Total Money (~$111.4m)

Positional Roster

G – Marcus Smart

G – Jaylen Brown

F – Gordon Hayward

F – Anthony Davis

C – Al Horford

G – Brad Wanamaker

G – Luguentz Dort

F – Marcus Morris

F – Semi Ojeleye

C – Aron Baynes

G – Nickeil Alexander-Walker

F – Thomas Robinson

C – Bruno Fernando

Final Roster Synopsis: A with Anthony Davis on it would compete in the East. The starters would likely carry a team like this, but if Marcus Morris were to have another ridiculously efficient season, the bench unit could be a plus. This team dips into the luxury tax, but would be competing for the title, with the NBA landscape being reshaped next year.

 

 

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mage: CelticsLife.com

 

Scenario 5 – IT Time

 

Team Free Agents

Marcus Morris (1yr/$10m – Not sure Morris would except a contract of this size, but if he did that would be nice, as he would add toughness to a team built around it)

Brad Wanamaker (Let Walk – Would not need another guard like Wanamaker on the bench, he’d get an opportunity elsewhere)

Daniel Theis (Let Walk – Would most likely be replaced in the draft)

Jonathan Gibson (Let Walk – Wouldn’t fit in with this team)

R.J. Hunter (1yr/$75k – Would fill a two-way spot for the Celtics)

P.J. Dozier (Let Walk – Dozier would get more run elsewhere)

Terry Rozier (Let Walk – Just wouldn’t be worth the money)

Kyrie Irving (Let Walk – It’s IT time, after Kyrie lands in LA or NY)

Al Horford (4yr/$59m – Again, Horford opts out of contract to restructure contract, receives $14m each year over the next 2 years to (almost) make up the $30m that would come this upcoming year, gets paid $15m in 2021-22 and $16m in 2022-23, which would be more than he’d likely get anywhere else at his age)

Aron Baynes (1yr/$5.5m – Baynes opts back into his current contract)

Draft Picks

14th Pick – Brandon Clarke ($2m – Brandon Clarke would be ready to contribute right away, as he’s a smart, defensive, skilled big man)

20th Pick – Goga Bitadze (A skilled big man that would be stashed overseas for a year)

22nd Pick – Cameron Johnson ($1.7m – A skilled lengthy forward that could blossom into a very nice NBA player one day)

51st Pick – Terence Davis ($75k – Likely a two-way player, Davis would get a nice run in Maine)

Free Agents

Isaiah Thomas (1yr/$5m – The city of Boston would love IT back and hopefully he could light a spark, as he tries to prove himself on a 1-year deal)

Tim Frazier (1yr/$2m – Frazier would likely be insurance on this team, as a guy who can handle the ball off the bench)

David Nwaba (1yr/$2m – An underrated, hardworking, physical, defensive bigger guard Danny Ainge could be interested in)

Scenario 5 Roster

Gordon Hayward ($32.7m)

Al Horford ($14m)

Marcus Smart ($12.6m)

Marcus Morris ($10m)

Jayson Tatum ($7.8m)

Jaylen Brown ($6.5m)

Aron Baynes ($5.5m)

Isaiah Thomas ($5m)

Guerschon Yabusele ($3.1m)

Brandon Clarke ($2m)

Tim Frazier ($2m)

David Nwaba ($2m)

Robert Williams ($1.9m)

Cameron Johnson ($1.7m)

Semi Ojeleye ($1.6m)

R.J. Hunter ($75k)

Terence Davis ($75k)

Total Money (~$108.4m)

Positional Roster

G – Isaiah Thomas

G – Jaylen Brown

F – Jayson Tatum

F – Gordon Hayward

C – Al Horford

G – Marcus Smart

G – David Nwaba

F – Semi Ojeleye

F – Marcus Morris

C – Aron Baynes

G – Tim Frazier

F – Guerschon Yabusele

F – Cameron Johnson

F – Brandon Clarke

C – Robert Williams

G – Terence Davis (Two-Way)

F – R.J. Hunter (Two-Way)

Final Roster Synopsis: This roster would be a physical, tough roster. They might not be the best, but they’ll try and stick it to you every night on the floor. There shouldn’t be much question about effort with this roster.

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Image: NBCSports.com

 

Scenario 6 – Run It Back

Team Free Agents

Marcus Morris (Let Walk – The money wouldn’t be there to sign him back)

Brad Wanamaker (Let Walk – Would be replaced by Kevin Porter)

Daniel Theis (Let Walk – The Celtics would not need another center on the roster, with 4 already)

Jonathan Gibson (Let Walk – Plenty of combo guards like Gibson out there)

R.J. Hunter (Let Walk – Hunter would get an opportunity elsewhere)

P.J. Dozier (1yr/$1m – Would fill out the roster for cheap)

Terry Rozier (Let Walk – The money wouldn’t be there to sign him back, plus he wouldn’t be worth it)

Kyrie Irving (5yr/$190m – Kyrie signs back with the team, as he’s making the most money in Boston)

Al Horford (4yr/$59m – Again, Horford opts out of contract to restructure contract, receives $14m each year over the next 2 years to (almost) make up the $30m that would come this upcoming year, gets paid $15m in 2021-22 and $16m in 2022-23, which would be more than he’d likely get anywhere else at his age)

Aron Baynes (1yr/$5.5m – Baynes opts back into his current contract)

Trades

Boston Receives: 2020 2nd Round Pick (GSW)

Sacramento Receives: Guerschon Yabusele ($3.1m)

Boston Receives: 2020 1st Round Pick (ORL) {Top 5 Protected}

Orlando Receives: 2019 1st Round Pick ($1.8m), 2019 1st Round Pick ($1.7m)

Draft Picks

14th Pick – Kevin Porter Jr. ($2m – Would carry a role as a ball handler off the bench)

 

51st Pick – Naz Reid ($75k – Would be another big man the Celtics would develop, a Montrezl Harrell type)

 

 

Scenario 6 Roster

Kyrie Irving ($38m)

Gordon Hayward ($32.7m)

Al Horford ($14m)

Marcus Smart ($12.6m)

Jayson Tatum ($7.8m)

Jaylen Brown ($6.5m)

Aron Baynes ($5.5m)

Kevin Porter Jr. ($2m)

Robert Williams ($1.9m)

Semi Ojeleye ($1.6m)

P.J. Dozier ($1m)

Naz Reid ($75k)

 

Total Money (~$122.6m)

Positional Roster

G – Kyrie Irving

G – Jaylen Brown

F – Jayson Tatum

F – Gordon Hayward

C – Al Horford

G – Marcus Smart

G – Kevin Porter Jr.

F – Semi Ojeleye

C – Robert Williams

C – Aron Baynes

G – P.J. Dozier

C – Naz Reid

Final Roster Synopsis: This roster would nearly be running it back from the 2018-19 campaign, but with much younger pieces. It’s hard to say how far this roster could get. The team would be heavily in the luxury tax for really no good reason at all.

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After looking at all of this, a couple of constants come into mind. Al Horford’s contract is always restructured, Terry Rozier is never worth the money, Semi Ojeleye is asked to step into a bigger role, and the roster is always young. In a perfect world, all of this would work out. The roster, money, and scenarios would almost always work out, however, we know we don’t live in a perfect world, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the Celtics choose to do this summer. Do they go all in, do they go young, or do they stay competitive? It’s a hard question to answer, but we’ll know soon enough, with the offseason creeping around the corner.

By: Seamus Zarlingo

IG: @Celtics.Everyday

Twitter: @SeamusZarlingo

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