The Boston Celtics front office has received full permission from franchise owner Wyc Grousbeck to do whatever it takes to strengthen the current reigning and defending Eastern Conference champions for next season and beyond.
According to Cs President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens, His traffic light is as green as the team’s jerseys.
In other words, it’s go time. The NBA offseason was two games away from going quiet as the Celtics were on Banner 18’s doorstep and everything seemed fine, with the aging Golden State Warriors looking like a Kevin Durant who couldn’t would be to draw from an upset championship streak after Game 3 at TD Garden.
The rest is history though, and Stevens and co. I have a team now that is great, but just not great enough. Thankfully, that may change as early as this week as the team looks to be aggressive with its exceptions for three traded players – set at $17.1m (Evan Fournier), $6.9m (Juan Hernangomez) and $5.9 million (Dennis Schroder). . The Fournier TPE ($17.1 million) is Houdini’s focus today.
One team that could be looking to dump wages this week is the New York Knicks, who have two key point guard signings on their radar this offseason.
The first and more realistic target is Jalen Brunson. New York just hired their dad Rick as a coach and only needs to free up $25 million in Cap space to sign him. That would be overpay for an undersized guard who has a 49/37/80 career split and has started just one full season with the Dallas Mavericks, the team that ranked him 33rd overall in 2018. On the other hand, such a move would be so unique to NYK that it is likely to happen.
On the other hand, most Knicks fans would probably prefer Kyrie Irving, a former No. 2 option of an NBA champion and 3x All-NBA team point guard (1x second team, 2x third team). Posting and Toasting wrote about the potential basketball beauty Irving can create at MSG:
“Does Kyrie make sense with the Knicks? Good Lord, yes. He would immediately sit alongside Walt Frazier as the greatest point guards in franchise history. He’s a legitimate top scorer, something Julius Randle isn’t and RJ Barrett isn’t and may never be and probably never should be. He creates for his teammates. He would make Madison Square Garden sound like he hadn’t in a long time, and maybe ever; After all, the biggest curtsies of the post-championship years (Bernard King; Patrick Ewing; Carmelo Anthony), for all their magnitude, weren’t human highlights. Irving is the sizzle and the steak.”
For that move to ever become a reality, the Knicks would need to create significant cap space and require multiple pay cuts to do so.
Here are 3 Knicks the Boston Celtics should be chasing to absorb $17.1 million TPE from Evan Fournier:
Derrick Rose is someone you wouldn’t want to associate with a young core with growth potential prior to his last stint with the New York Knicks. It wasn’t so much his ability on the pitch, which has remained at a consistent sub-star level since his return from a meniscus tear in 2014.
Since returning to New York with Tom Thibodeau for a second stint with the Knicks, Rose has been a productive member of the second unit, able to fill a starting role should the need arise. His role under Ime Udoka would be to bring Payton Pritchard as a passer while also providing the second unit sorely lacking outside of Derrick White (minus Games 5 and 6 of the NBA Finals) in the postseason. For his $14.5 million cap, he would have to fold into Evan Fournier’s TPE ($17.1 million).