When the Celtics introduced new draft picks Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters on Monday, it signaled an important step in the franchise’s unexpected reboot.
With all signs continuing to point toward the departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, Boston could now enter free agency next week with up to $35 million in salary-cap space. But it is unclear how it plans to proceed.
“I like the fact that we have d“ifferent opportunities,” said Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations. “And we have some flexibility, but I don’t really know what is realistic yet.
“That’s what we’ll spend the rest of this week trying to figure out is what even do we have a chance to do and where should be our priorities? But I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m excited about the flexibility that we have.
“I’m excited about the youth that we have and some of our returning players. It’s going to be a really fun year. Looking forward to it.”
ESPN reported on Sunday night that the Celtics will hire Fairmont State head coach Joe Mazzulla as an assistant coach to replace Micah Shrewsberry, who recently left to become an assistant at Purdue.
“I think we’re a little ahead of ourselves but, yeah, we’re moving in that direction,” Ainge said. “It’s not been finalized yet but we’re moving in that direction.
“We’ve had Joe here with us before and he’s well-liked by everybody.”
Mazzulla, a former West Virginia standout, previously worked as an assistant coach for the Celtics’ G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.
Langford up in air
Ainge said it is unclear whether Langford, who is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament, will play in the Las Vegas summer league.
“We’ll evaluate it, have our doctors take a look at it and talk to Romeo,” Ainge said. “But we haven’t had that discussion yet.
“We’ll figure that out over the next couple days what the best plan is for him, and his long-term health.”
Langford suffered the injury in November but continued to play for Indiana.
“I didn’t want to let my team down,” Langford said. “Wanted to be there for my brothers. I didn’t want them to think I was just sitting out. I knew I could play through it. Also, I knew I couldn’t not play basketball for that long of a time, when I knew I could play through it.
“I was raised to be tough-minded and do stuff like that. That’s what it came down to.”
Summer of Fall
Ainge said he could not comment on specifics about Tacko Fall, but he did acknowledge that the 7-foot-6-inch center out of Central Florida will join Boston’s summer league team.