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The Boston Celtics have five players whose contracts have officially ended, and it is not out of the question all five will be playing for another team in 2021-22. But at least some of them may interest new President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens in bringing back.
Still others — probably the majority — are at best a coinflip to return, pending what moves the team makes on the trade market and on draft night. Which free agents ought the Celtics write the check for, and which ones should they cut loose? With the stakes — and potential tax bill — starting to gain some real heft, the decisions Boston makes aren’t just about the player they bring back. They also need to consider the opportunity costs of those they don’t explore bringing on in their steads.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the candidates.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola
Fournier seems to be a pretty divisive player, with some seeing him garnering a big paycheck in his looming free agency while others believe he'll be pretty affordable even as one of the offseason's better wing options. We think the truth is somewhere in the middle, but not so pricy as Celtics ownership won't bite the bullet and pay up. Having the St. Maurice native's Bird rights in hand certainly doesn't hurt, either. VERDICT: Stays
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Kornet could be a useful depth option for Boston's frontcourt, but with Al Horford rejoining the squad, his primary utility of stretching the floor is easily outclassed. Probably it will come down to one of him and Tacko Fall, and if it does we like Fall's history with the franchise as the deciding factor. VERDICT: Goes
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Ojeleye is a much-loved veteran of the deep Celtics rotation, but given he still hasn't been able to graduate from it and did little to show he belongs on a competitive roster, it seems very unlikely he returns. It's not out of the question he could be brought back as depth insurance depending on how things break, but we don't expect the Ojeleye Factory to be up and running in Boston next season. VERDICT: Goes
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Both Waters and Fall should have one more season of eligibility as two way players, and Waters has the more useful skillset and positionality for this team. He's also failed to separate himself from the glut of deep bench youth, but that's not entirely his fault with the paucity of opportunities last season presented. We expect Waters to latch on to a team with greater developmental opportunities than Boston. VERDICT: Goes
Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports Fall could go either way after having shown slow but steady development despite little opportunity to get in reps in games that count. His ongoing relationship with the team as a public-facing player suggests they appreciate having him around, but he's also far from a lock to be brought back. VERDICT: Toss-up This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=54172,54166,54164,54160] [listicle id=54180]