The Celtics added four players in last week’s NBA Draft, but it was not the splash that many were hoping for after the team said it was trying to trade up to possibly take a forward or center.
No such deal was made, and now the team will turn its attention to free agency.
Teams can start contacting players on Wednesday, but deals can’t become official until July 9.
Heading into the draft, the Celtics were nearly $25 million under the salary cap, but that did not account for their own free agents: Brandon Bass, Jonas Jerebko, Luigi Datome, and Jae Crowder. The Celtics extended a qualifying offer to Crowder last weekend, making him a restricted free agent.
There is plenty of size available in free agency, although the chances of the Celtics landing a top tier free agent appear to be slim, despite the fact they could offer a restricted free agent a maximum contract. The issue is more to do with the Celtics’ lack of a supporting cast.
Nonetheless, here’s a look at some of the big names availiable. Given that the Celtics now have nine guards on the roster, we decided to focus on the the frontcourt.
Unlikely to land in Boston
Many in the group of top-tier free agents have indictated a preference as to where they wish to be, and Boston isn’t on many lists.
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, center — The 30-year-old unrestricted free agent center would be just what the Celtics need, bringing a big presence in the middle. He averaged a career-high 17.4 points this season to go along with 7.8 rebounds. Indications are he’s happy in Memphis — the Grizzlies are reportedly the only team he will meet with — and would be tough to pry away.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers, power forward — Another unrestricted big man who would look good in green. After an early exit by Portland from the playoffs, Aldridge, who turns 30 in July, is expected to make a move, but it would probably be to stay out West, although Toronto and New York are also possibilites. He averaged a career-high 23.4 points while hauling in 10.2 rebounds this past season.
DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers, center — His lack of offensive production will not scare teams away. The unrestricted free agent is valued for his shot blocking and rebounding. But it appears that Jordan will stay in the Western Conference, although the Knicks are interested.
Possible to land in Boston
Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic, forward — The Celtics appear to be very much in contention for the services of Harris. He has flourished since being traded from Milwaukee to Orlando, averaging 17.1 points for the Magic last season, and he’ll only be 23 at the start of next year.
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons, center — The unrestricted free agent averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds, and was a bright spot in a disappointing season for the Pistons. The former lottery pick is looking to strike it big, and said he will meet with the Celtics, Knicks, Lakers, Bucks and Trail Blazers this week.
Also on the Celtics’ radar
Robin Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers, center — Although not as productive as his twin brother Brook of the Brooklyn Nets, the Globe’s Gary Washburn calls the unrestricted center “a solid finisher around the rim and a decent free throw shooter.”
Kostas Koufos, Memphis Grizzlies, center — Koufos could be the rim protector the Celtics are looking for. He played in 81 games last season, averaging 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 16.6 minutes. At just 26, his best days appear to be ahead of him. The Celtics were apparently interested in the big man last season.
David West, Indiana Pacers, forward — The Celtics thought they had landed West back in 2011, but he turned down their offer to sign with the Pacers. Now about to turn 35, West decided not to exercise the $12.6 million option of his contract for the 2015-16 season. He could return to Indiana, although West apparently will meet with the Knicks.
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