NBA Rumors: 'Chatter building' that Celtics could target Malcolm Brogdon and other restricted free agents

NBA Rumors: 'Chatter building' that Celtics could target Malcolm Brogdon and other restricted free agents

With the growing likelihood that the Celtics will lose Kyrie Irving and Al Horford in free agency, the Celtics must pivot their plan to build a championship contender with holes at point guard and center. 

Without Irving and Horford, the Celtics have about $25.8 million in cap space with the ability to create about $34 million in space if they renounce the rights to all of their free agents in Terry Rozier Daniel Theis and Brad Wanamaker. So they have the money to bring in decent replacements, and while trades and unrestricted free agency are the most straight-forward methods to add to your roster, going after restricted free agents (RFA) can be beneficial in multiple ways. 

According to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports and CelticsBlog, there is 'building chatter' that Malcolm Brogdon, Thomas Bryant and Tomas Satoransky are potential targets for the Celtics in the RFA market. 

In order for the Celtics to secure the services of any RFA, they'll need to agree to an offer sheet with the player and then wait for the incumbent team to decide whether to match that contract or not, assuming they extend a qualifying offer. It typically takes a substantial offer sheet to make a team pass on keeping a young player they like, and that's especially the case with Brogdon. 

Brogdon played a major part in the Bucks rise to the top of the Eastern Conference in 2018-19, averaging 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists and became the eighth player in NBA history to post 50-40-90 shooting splits. He's a versatile defender and does everything you want on the court besides be a prolific scorer, so it would probably take a near-max offer sheet to get the Bucks to let him walk. 

At the very least, the Celtics could make the Bucks salary cap/luxury tax situation more uncomfortable if they have to pay Brogdon more than what they expected to. 

Satoransky and Bryant both played with the Wizards last year and could be easy targets for the Celtics given the Wizards more than unenviable salary figure. Bryant, who started 53 games in his sophomore season and averaged 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, could be a cheaper option at center for the Celtics. Satoransky meanwhile could give Brad Stevens another ball handler and versatile defender as a 6-7 guard, not to mention his improved three-point shooting over the course of his three-year career. 

The Celtics have plenty of options with the cap space they'll likely have this summer, and as more reports surface about their intentions, the more it seems like they're willing to look at every avenue they can to re-tool this roster for the 2019-20 season. 

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Celtics 'thrilled' for new Duke women's head coach Kara Lawson

Celtics 'thrilled' for new Duke women's head coach Kara Lawson

The Boston Celtics are sad to see Kara Lawson go, but ecstatic to see her begin a new chapter as head coach of the Duke University women's basketball program.

Lawson, who joined the C's prior to this season and became the first female assistant coach in franchise history, was officially welcomed aboard by Duke on Saturday. Former Duke star Jayson Tatum promptly congratulated her on the exciting opportunity, and several C's followed suit after their practice Sunday.

"We’re thrilled for her," said head coach Brad Stevens. "I don’t want to take away from her press conference tomorrow before she gets more of a chance to talk about it. I can’t say enough about what a terrific person, terrific coach, she’ll be a great fit at Duke with their incredible tradition.

"She’s really excited. We actually went on a walk – Kara, [Stevens’ wife] Tracy and I – a couple of months ago. And we were talking about what she’d be interested in the future, and being the head coach at Duke was one of the things that came up. So it’s really cool that she’s getting a chance to do that. She’ll be terrific."

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Even after just one season, Lawson has made a tremendous impact on Boston's players. Celtics big man Robert Williams opened up about how Lawson was a positive influence both on and off the court.

"Kara is always known for putting a smile on players' faces," Williams said. "She stays in your ear, even though she may not be your personal coach she always keeps asking how I'm doing and if there's anything I need to talk about, so I feel like Duke is going to get a great head coach. We're going to miss her. We don't want her to go, but it's on to bigger and better opportunities."

Smart echoed Williams' sentiments, calling Lawson a "friend" and someone he had a connection with since she was hired by the Celtics last summer.

"When Kara first got here, actually, and this is why our bond has been strong, she had the option to work with anybody. Brad gave her the option to choose who she wanted to work with, and the first person she chose with me," said Smart. "When she told Brad the reason why, she just liked the way I play my whole game. So that really hit home for me and it meant a lot. And like I said our relationship just built amongst that and she became more than just my shooting coach, she became a longtime friend and somebody I know I can talk to if I ever need advice.”

Lawson starred as a player at the University of Tennessee and went on to have 13 successful seasons in the WNBA. She served as an NBA and WNBA analyst for ESPN before joining the Celtics' coaching staff.

If what the C's had to say about Lawson is any indication, there's no doubt she will do great things for Duke as it aims to make its way back into the NCAA Tournament.

Kemba Walker held out of Celtics' first 'hard practice'

Kemba Walker held out of Celtics' first 'hard practice'

The Boston Celtics' plan to ease Kemba Walker back into the flow of things was on full display Sunday as Walker (knee) was held out for all of the team’s first "hard practice" since the team entered the Orlando Bubble as part of the NBA's return to play.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said this is part of the team’s plan of progression in working Walker back into being at his best physically for the playoffs, so that the stop-and-start state of his play won’t be the case by the time Boston gets to the postseason.

Walker has been among the most durable players in the NBA for years.

But this season, the 30-year-old has missed 16 games, most of which were due to left knee soreness. To put that in perspective, Walker missed just four games the four previous seasons combined.

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Without Walker, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens liked a lot of what he saw on Sunday in what was the team’s first hard practice. 

“Guys really got after it,” Stevens said.

He anticipates another hard practice on Monday with a day off on Tuesday. 

Walker is in the first year of a four-year, $141 million deal he signed after spending his first eight NBA seasons in Charlotte. 

This season, he is Boston’s No. 2 scorer with a 21.2 points per game average along with dishing out 4.9 assists while grabbing 4.1 rebounds.