The Boston Celtics look like they are open for business this NBA offseason. Brad Stevens, who is taking over control of the front office from Danny Ainge, who stepped down from his role, has already shown that he will be aggressive in shaking up the roster.
Days after taking over his new role with the franchise, Stevens traded starting point guard Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder, along with a first-round draft pick. Coming back in that deal is former Celtics big man Al Horford, who will help stabilize the frontcourt.
That is far from the last move that Stevens will make in his first season away from the sidelines. Boston doesn’t have much wiggle room when it comes to the salary cap, so they likely won’t be big spenders in free agency.
Retaining Evan Fournier will likely be the biggest free-agent splash. However, armed with multiple trade exceptions, they can be active wheeling and dealing.
The Celtics have $11 million remaining from the Gordon Hayward exception after using $17 million on Fournier at the trade deadline. The Walker trade created an exception of $6.9 million as well.
Knowing they can acquire players to fit into those exceptions, expect Boston to be aggressive when pursuing trades this offseason to upgrade the roster.
Here are three realistic trade targets for the Boston Celtics.