3 moves Celtics still must make after first weekend of 2022 NBA free agency

The Boston Celtics can still cause a sensation in the NBA Free Agency in 2022.

At least bigger than just Danilo Gallinari.

Remember that in the city of Boston, the threshold for success is pretty high.

Because of this, after the Celtics’ best season in more than a decade, the topic of discussion has now shifted to how GM Brad Stevens is playing. Can he add to the roster after losing to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals?

Every member of the regular rotation for Boston is signed through at least the 2022-2023 season, and recent comments from Stevens suggest he’d rather acquire additional players than split the core. As a result, Boston’s to-do list is short.

However, the Celtics have very specific requirements. While head coach Ime Udoka wants an experienced goalscorer on his wish list, Stevens wants to highlight bench scoring and playmaking as areas of interest in the free agent and trade markets. Of course, there’s also a need to strengthen their front line, anchored on a relatively frail Robert Williams III and a 36-year-old Al Horford.

However, don’t expect the Celtics to sign a high-profile free agent making more than $20 million. They are currently above the luxury tax threshold but also have access to the $6.39 million middle taxpayer exemption. Some intriguing names might then be open to going to Boston as part of such a deal.

That’s just as well, as this current roster could still be a championship tier.

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Celtics: Three steps Boston needs to take

3. Sign Harry Giles

The Boston Celtics have already made significant strides in bolstering their supporting cast by signing Gallinari this offseason. While vital, it didn’t stop forward Jayson Tatum from recently tweeting NBA teams to consider signing his close pal and former Duke Blue Devil teammate Harry Giles.

Brad Stevens and co. might do well to give serious thought to bringing the former first-round pick on board this summer, although it’s unclear whether Tatum was pushing for Boston to sign Giles or just pushing for the 6’10 tall man to have a roster spot on every NBA team.

When we last saw the big man on the court, he was playing for the Agua Caliente Clippers in the G League, where he averaged a respectable 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Those numbers aren’t worth writing about, the addition of Giles would be an easy way to please the cornerstone of the franchise. The team would also have a 24-year-old with solid potential in a position that still needs to be mastered. Even getting Giles a modest non-guaranteed contract wouldn’t be a risky proposition for Boston. There’s really nothing to lose here, and a lot of emotional justice to be gained.

2. Sign TJ Warren

We’ve already mentioned that Boston’s off-season budget is tight, but it can be stretched if there’s some risk.

Enter TJ Warren. Yes, the stress fractures on his left foot have prevented him from wearing a jersey for the past two seasons combined. Frankly, despite the fact that his foot appeared to have healed late last season — long after the Indiana Pacers were buried in the Eastern Conference rankings — any team that picks him up will still be taking some risk.

He had a very good three-season stretch from 2017-2020. During those years, he averaged at least 18.0 points per game on at least 48.0% field goal shooting each season. He also successfully completed more than 40% of his triples from 2018-2020. He was even one of the best players in the 2020 NBA bubble. With the Celtics needing more wings that can defend and take long shots, Warren could be a great pick. He meets both criteria if he is healthy.

Additionally, Warren can be a bargain for the mini-mid-level exception. Worth the risk? It sure looks like it.

1. Sign Thomas Bryant

Although the Danilo Gallinari issue may have given the Boston Celtics a potential high-impact takeover, rumors are rife that the team is on the verge of another major signing. A clever young tall man is said to be very interested in going to Boston.

The Celtics are reportedly interested in center Thomas Bryant, 24, and it appears the interest is mutual. If Stevens can find someone with the youngster’s potential, such a takeover could become a notable bargain.

Bryant still offers excellent skills that teams are looking for in their frontcourt. One caveat is that he spent a significant portion of last season readjusting to in-game action after recovering from a cruciate ligament tear.

Before the injury, however, Bryant was averaging 13.4 points, seven rebounds and a block per game while shooting an impressive 59 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc from 2019-2021.

If the Boston Celtics could find a way to win someone like Thomas Bryant, that would be just awesome. He would be a great addition to Horford and Williams III.

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