Celtics Sleeper Contracts to Pursue in NBA Free Agency | Bleacher Report

0 out of 3

    Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Boston Celtics are spending the first part of their summer of 2022 battling for their 18th NBA championship.

    The rest of their summer break, meanwhile, is spent trying to figure out ways to get back to this point.

    While the players, coaches and fans can give this playoff run their full attention, the front office can’t have such a narrow focus. These decision makers are always anticipating what’s coming next, so we’ll do the same with an early look at three sleeper free agency goals for Boston.

1 of 3

    Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Celtics may not feel many needs when planning their summer shopping since they are already Eastern Conference champions and could soon be crowned NBA kings.

    Still, they could use a different ball handler. And a playmaker. And someone who can bury open shots. Oh, and someone who can defend multiple positions too.

    Or they could sign Nicolas Batum and give themselves a chance to add all of the above.

    On a championship contender, the experienced swingman can let his versatility shine. With a large bag of tricks at both ends and a brilliant basketball IQ, it’s no wonder Batum’s teams almost always do better with him than without (up 2.1 points per 100 career possessions, according to Basketball-Reference.com).

2 out of 3

    Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Celtics have elite defense and an offense powered by two all-round forwards who can create scoring chances out of thin air. When the supporting cast clicks around stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Boston is essentially unbeatable.

    Often this swing comes down to outside shooting. If the Celtics hit their targets from afar, they’re likely to put another notch in the Victory Column. In the playoffs alone, Boston has averaged 14.8 three-pointers with 38.7 percent wins and just 12.3 three-pointers with 35.7 percent losses.

    With shooting so crucial to this club’s success and this roster so deep in other areas, the Celtics should feel emboldened to pounce on a specialist.

    A player like Wayne Ellington only moves the needle in one area, but in his role as a long-range shooter he is elite. He’s been a nightly source of 2.4 triples at 38.6 percent shooting since early 2016-17.

3 out of 3

    Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

    Boston could stand to increase its chord.

    Given the current budget constraints, this won’t be easy, but it can happen.

    Look at Rodney McGruder. If he were, say, a bit taller than his 6’4″ and 205-pound frame, he might have a prominent spot on most teams’ offseason wish lists. That extra height would make him easier to get into Introducing the high season Level three-and-D role, his skills are well stocked to back him up.

    Without the size, however, he just loses a little flexibility and length on defense. He still has a top-notch motor, a three-ball that’s down 40.6 percent since the start of last season, and an advanced basketball IQ that’s consistently making smart decisions on both sides.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.