Celtics positioning themselves to acquire star player next offseason?
The Boston Celtics have had an incredibly busy offseason, but they have not been aggressive in trying to improve their roster. You could make the argument that they have gotten worse, though that is apparently by design.
Following an incredibly disappointing season, the Celtics decided to give up on Kemba Walker by trading him to the Oklahoma City Thunder. They also let Evan Fournier walk in free agency. In terms of adding, Boston acquired Al Horford in the Walker deal. None of their moves aside from that have generated headlines, and many fans are wondering why.
According to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, the Celtics are deliberately being patient. New president of basketball operations Brad Stevens wants to make sure the team is in a position to add a third star alongside Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown next summer.
Celtics' priority, according to league source, is to retain a "salary structure" that makes it possible to sign a "major" player when he comes available, most likely next summer. Good chance they don't use the $5.7 taxpayers mid-level this time around.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) August 3, 2021
Fournier was open to re-signing with the Celtics, but he instead ended up with the New York Knicks on a four-year, $80 million deal. Marcus Smart, who will be a free agent next summer, is said to be seeking the same type of deal. It would not be a surprise if Boston let him walk as well.
So who is the big fish? Bradley Beal would make the most sense. The Washington Wizards star has one more year remaining on his contract, and a recent report claimed he wants to team up with Tatum in Boston. Stevens could be eyeing Beal as his first big splash in his new role with the Celtics.
Whatever the case, it does not seem like the Celtics are chasing a championship this season. Time will tell if that plan works out.