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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