Summer rewind: Boston Celtics

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Al Horford is joining a very deep roster. (AP)
Al Horford is joining a very deep roster. (AP)

A look at the key offseason moves and changes for every team in the league. Next up are the Boston Celtics.

OFFSEASON ADDITIONS
Free agents
Al Horford
Tyler Zeller
Gerald Green
Marcus Georges-Hunt

Draft
Jaylen Brown
Ante Zizic
Guerschon Yabusele
Demetrius Jackson
Ben Bentil

THE REWIND
Depth through the draft
With control of eight draft picks, including three first-rounders, the Celtics were in control of the draft.

There were two key questions:

Could Boston use its assets to acquire an All-Star level talent?

And if Boston decided to hold on to each pick, how would the Celtics, with only three free agents, balance the roster?

General manager Danny Ainge ended up drafting 19-year-old wing Jaylen Brown (third overall) in the first round along with two European players in Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic to stash for a year. He also drafted Demetrius Jackson, Ben Bentil and Abdel Nader in the second round.

Boston was also able to move two second-rounders (Nos. 31 and 35) to the Grizzlies for a future first-round pick from the Clippers.

Judging how Boston fared in the draft shouldn’t happen this season. That will depend on how Brown develops, when Yabusele and Zizic join the Celtics and the value of the Clippers’ pick in the near future.

The All-Star
The price of adding an All-Star usually involves a team stripping down its roster and depleting its draft assets.

The Celtics, however, kept their assets by signing free agent Al Horford.

Boston added Horford to a team that returns its starters at each position while retaining its stockpile of draft picks.

The art of patience
Patience and building an NBA team often don’t go together.

With the Celtics, known to be one of the most aggressive teams on the trade front, patience with their key draft assets and resisting the urge to chase stars will put Boston back among the elite.

As the trade deadline and draft night proved, some of the best deals are the ones that never materialize.

Boston could potentially have two future lottery picks from a rebuilding Brooklyn team along with a potential Memphis lottery pick in 2019.

The fruits of these past trades will pay off for the Celtics in the future.

CAP BREAKDOWN
Player 2016
1. Al Horford $26,540,100
2. Amir Johnson $12,000,000
3. Avery Bradley $8,269,663
4. Tyler Zeller $8,000,000
5. Isaiah Thomas $6,587,132
6. Jae Crowder $6,286,408
7. Jonas Jerebko $5,000,000
8. Jaylen Brown $4,743,000
9. Marcus Smart $3,578,880
10. Kelly Olynyk $3,094,013
11. Terry Rozier $1,906,440
12. James Young $1,825,200
13. Demetrius Jackson $1,450,000
14. Jordan Mickey $1,223,653
15. R.J. Hunter $1,200,240
16. Gerald Green $980,431

Non-guaranteed/partial
17. John Holland $874,636
18. Ben Bentil $543,471
19. Marcus Georges-Hunt $543,471

First-round holds
Ante Zizic $1,151,900
Guerschon Yabusele $1,573,500

Salary table 2016
Guaranteed salaries $92,960,160
Dead money $0
Non-guaranteed $1,688,578
Free-agent cap hold $2,725,400
Incomplete roster charge $0
Tax variance $542,755
Salaries: cap $97,372,138
Salaries: tax $97,914,893
Salary cap $94,143,000
Luxury tax $113,287,000
Cap space None ($3,229,138 over)
Tax room $15,372,107

Boston had plenty of options and decisions to make in free agency.

The Celtics had to weigh the value of retaining their own restricted free agents and non-guaranteed players (Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko) along with using maximum cap space ($51 million) to go free-agent shopping.

Boston ended up using $26 million of its cap room on Horford while retaining Johnson, Jerebko and signing restricted free agent Tyler Zeller.

The remaining cap space was used on second-round picks Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil.

Boston is leaving the first-round holds of Zizic and Yabusele to count against the cap.

Although both players will not be in a Celtics uniform this season, keeping both holds will put Boston over the salary cap, which allows the Celtics to use the traded player exception instead of room to acquire a help.

Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick in the draft. (AP)
Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick in the draft. (AP)

RESTRICTIONS
Free agents signed in the offseason cannot be traded until either Dec. 15, Jan. 15 or for three months if they signed after Sept. 15.

Horford, Green and Georges-Hunt cannot be traded until Dec. 15.

Zeller cannot be traded until Jan. 15 because he was signed using early Bird rights, and his current $6.1 million salary exceeds his previous contract by 20 percent.

Brown, Jackson and Bentil can’t be traded until Thursday.

Horford has a 15 percent trade bonus, but because the bonus would exceed the max salary allowed ($26.5 million), it would be voided if Horford were traded this season.

EXTENSION CANDIDATES
Rookie
Former 2013 first-round pick Kelly Olynyk is eligible to have his rookie contract extended.

Olynyk is in the final season of his deal and can have his contract extended until Oct. 31.

Expect the Celtics to retain cap flexibility and put extension talks on hold until next summer.

Veteran
None

DEPTH CHART
Starter Bench Bench
PG Isaiah Thomas Marcus Smart Terry Rozier/Demetrius Jackson
SG Avery Bradley Gerald Green R.J. Hunter/John Holland
SF Jae Crowder Jaylen Brown James Young/Marcus Georges-Hunt
PF Amir Johnson Kelly Olynyk Jordan Mickey/Ben Bentil
C Al Horford Tyler Zeller

Boston has 16 guaranteed contracts and three partial/non-guaranteed contracts with John Holland, Georges-Hunt and Bentil.

The additions of Jackson and Bentil, along with free agent Gerald Green, will have the job security of former draft picks R.J. Hunter, James Young and Jordan Mickey in jeopardy.

SNEAK PEEK TO NEXT SUMMER
Expect next summer to be the same for the Celtics.

Boston will have draft picks (the right to swap with Brooklyn) and cap space (potential max salary slot) and will have plenty of options.

KEEP AN EYE ON
James Young and R.J. Hunter
The former first-round picks could be in a fight for their NBA jobs in October.

Although both players are on guaranteed contracts, there is no guarantee that either will be in a Celtics uniform when the season begins.

With the additions of Brown, Jackson, Bentil and Green, the Celtics have an overflow at the wings.

Young and Hunter are also coming off less-than-stellar summer league performances.

Previous teams in the series: Hawks | Nets | Clippers | Timberwolves | Jazz | Hornets | Kings | Pacers | Magic | Suns | Knicks | Grizzlies | Raptors | Mavericks

More NBA coverage from The Vertical: