The Boston Celtics still have the resources to add a few role players in NBA free agency. But they're running out of time to add a quality asset.
Two free agents on the Celtics' radar both agreed to contracts with other teams Tuesday, per reports. Rudy Gay is heading to the Utah Jazz on a two-year deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, while his former San Antonio Spurs teammate, Patty Mills, is joining the Brooklyn Nets on a two-year pact worth $12 million, Wojnarowski reports.
Gay and Mills both were potential candidates for the Celtics to sign using their $5.9 million taxpayer midlevel exception. The 35-year-old Gay averaged 11.4 points over 21.6 minutes per game for the Spurs last season and would have given Boston some length and experience on its second unit, while Mills would have brought that same veteran presence to the Celtics' young backcourt.
Both players also have a connection with new C's head coach and former San Antonio assistant Ime Udoka, so they seemed like natural targets for Boston.
With Gay and Mills heading elsewhere, what other options do the Celtics have in free agency? The answer is ... not many.
Of the 12 players our Chris Forsberg listed as potential free-agent targets for the C's on Monday, only four remain: Justise Winslow, Javonte Green, Ish Smith and Georges Niang. (The Chicago Bulls extended a qualifying offer to Green, so that number is likely to decrease to three.)
The Celtics have been busy on the trade market, adding Josh Richardson in a deal with the Dallas Mavericks and Kris Dunn and Bruno Fernando in a reported trade with the Atlanta Hawks that could expand to include more assets.
They've largely watched the free-agent frenzy from the sideline, though, and it doesn't look like that's changing in the near future.