With the NBA’s free agency period in full swing, all 30 teams are now planning how they will deal with the next wave of signings after a first set of pacts were signed just after midnight on July 1st. The Boston Celtics used their lone opportunity to add an impact free agent, the mid-level taxpayer’s exception, to reel in the rooster (Danilo Gallinari), then later turned around on day one of the free agency and traded to Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon with Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith and a 2023 top-12 protected first-round pick.
To say it was a successful offseason would be an understatement. Boston now has its best chance of winning the 2022-23 NBA championship, having come within two games of Banner 18 in June but falling short against the reborn Golden State Warriors dynasty. Titles are won with the top guys on the depth chart, but having a deep list, like the Warriors did, separates the very best teams from those whose ceiling is the second round of the postseason.
Brogdon and Gallinari essentially replaced Nesmith and Theis as eighth and ninth players off the bench (Grant Williams and Derrick White still have precedence due to their post-season contributions), but it could be a while before another signing follows, eh take off the sagas of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg has two potential signings in mind with the Boston Celtics, mentioning the names of 2021 second-round player Juhann Begarin and 2022 NBA draft No. 53 JD Davison, and citing current luxury tax concerns following the addition of Brogdon’s $22.6 million contract as his rationale for pursuing fringe extensions that are unlikely to crack the rotation right away:
“Taking tax concerns into account, the Celtics should be motivated to give one of their last roster spots to a player with zero years of league service. Maybe that’ll bring Juhann Begarin to the US (Yam Madar would work too, but feels like there’s too much point guard depth to waste years of service). Alternatively, the Celtics could sign 2022 second-round pick JD Davison, who could otherwise make a two-way deal or consider a stash abroad.”
Juhann Begarin and JD Davison will have to prove they’re ready to make it to the Boston Celtics in 2022-23 in the Summer League
Before the Celtics’ final second-round draft picks are handed guaranteed money — while we’re at it, you can put Yam Madar in that group despite his absence from the Las Vegas Summer League in July — they need to prove they have a Can contribute within Boston’s offensive system.
Ime Udoka won’t be with the team in Vegas, but assistant coach Ben Sullivan will keep his system working. Both Begarin and Davison need to prove they’re not too raw and need time with the Maine Celtics. Carsen Edwards landed a multi-year deal three years ago with strong play in the Summer League, so it’s not an impossible goal. At least the goal for the couple should be to push Udoka and Co. to give them preseason minutes.