Summer agenda: Boston Celtics

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·The Vertical
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The Vertical Front-Office Insider Bobby Marks, a 20-year executive with the Nets, offers his thoughts on the offseason plans of NBA teams whose seasons have ended.

Balance the roster
With eight draft picks this June comes the issue of balancing the roster.

The Celtics have a decision to make on Jonas Jerebko. (AP)
The Celtics have a decision to make on Jonas Jerebko. (AP)

The Celtics have nine guaranteed contracts, Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko have non-guaranteed deals, and Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger are restricted free agents, so there will be some roster reshuffling.

With three first-round picks, including a potential top-three pick from Brooklyn, and two picks in the early 30s of the second round, Boston could face a logjam of young, unproven players. Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter, 2015 first-round picks, and 2015 second-round pick Jordan Mickey all saw limited action this season. Boston also has 2014 first-round pick James Young, who remains inconsistent. All four players could be trade casualties if the Celtics believe the value in this draft outweighs the young players on their roster.

Targeting the nine teams without a first-round pick and 11 teams without a second for a potential deal is one direction the Celtics could go. Teams that do not have a pick always overpay to get into the draft.

The value of cap space
The Celtics will need to do some back channeling on which free agents are realistic targets. The information they find will have a result on the futures of Johnson and Jerebko.

The Celtics have until July 3 to weigh the value of cap space against keeping two rotational players. Boston currently has $16 million in room and can create an additional $17 million by letting both players go.

The one mistake the Celtics cannot afford is letting both players go and then overpaying a free agent.

Both players are on a reasonable contracts, which should allow Boston to move either one if they need cap space after July 3.

Do your homework on All-Stars
Teams have learned the hard way that putting your chips to the middle of the table to acquire an All-Star doesn’t automatically guarantee success.

The Celtics, with a combination of cap space, draft picks and young players, certainly have the right assets to make a major deal. However, before Boston goes in that direction its needs to make sure the fit is not just short term or impacts the roster negatively.

Different than the trade deadline, Boston can be more aggressive this summer when looking at All-Stars on expiring contracts. Instead of having two months to sell the organization to a player, the Celtics would have a full year to do so.

Don’t hit the panic button
Two first-round playoff exits should not concern team president Danny Ainge.

The Celtics’ window isn’t closing, and they are in the driver’s seat for the foreseeable future when it comes to trades and free agency. The franchise needs to be patient, cautious and stick to its plan.

A bad deal could derail the promise Boston has shown.

There are plenty of needs for a team that won 48 regular-season games.

Of the nine players on guaranteed contracts, only Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk played meaningful minutes.

The playoffs showed that Boston’s biggest need is shooting. Even with the emergence of Thomas as an All-Star, the Celtics still are in need of a player who can create his own shot and close games, and that’s not easy to find.




    Insider info 

 1. Avery Bradley



 2. Isaiah Thomas



 3. Jae Crowder



 4. Marcus Smart



 5. Kelly Olynyk


    Eligible for rookie extension

 6. Terry Rozier



 7. James Young



 8. Jordan Mickey



 9. R.J. Hunter





    Guarantee date

 10. Amir Johnson


    Full protection after July 3

 11. Jonas Jerebko


    Full protection after July 3

12. John Holland 



 FA cap holds


    Free-agent status

 13. Evan Turner


    Early Bird rights

 14. Tyler Zeller


    Restricted/full Bird rights

 15. Jared Sullinger


    Restricted/full Bird rights

 First-round holds



 16. No. 3 from Brooklyn



 17. No. 16 from Dallas



 18. Own No. 23








FA cap holds


First-round holds


Minimum holds


Dead money




Salary cap


Cap space


The Celtics cap space is fluid with so many roster decisions to make. With $16 million in room, Boston could have anywhere from $34 million to $48 million depending on what it decides.

Because the cap holds of Sullinger, Zeller and Evan Turner are so low, Boston can use cap space first before signing either player.

First round: Own pick, has picks from Brooklyn and Dallas.

Second round: Has picks from Philadelphia, Minnesota, Memphis, Miami and Cleveland.

First round
Can swap with Brooklyn.

2018: Own and has Brooklyn’s pick.

2019: Own and has Memphis’ pick (Nos. 9-30) if the Grizzlies send a first to Denver in 2017.

2020: Own and has Memphis’ pick (Nos. 7-30) if the Grizzlies send a first to Denver in 2018.

2021: Own and has Memphis’ pick (unprotected) if the Grizzlies send a first to Denver in 2019.

Key rights to: Marcus Thornton (second round, pick No. 45, 2015); Colton Iverson (second round, pick No. 23, 2013)

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