NBA Free Agents 2011: Top 10 Targets Boston Celtics Must Acquire to Contend

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NBA Free Agents 2011: Top 10 Targets Boston Celtics Must Acquire to Contend
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are down 3-1 to the Miami Heat, a hole which may very well prove impossible to climb out of.

Only eight teams in NBA history have recovered from a 3-1 deficit, although both Celtics teams who have accomplished this feat (1968 and 1981) went on to win the NBA championship.

If this series wraps up the way most expect it to, the focus will begin to shift towards next season. Regardless of whether the Celtics advance in the playoffs, they'll have some work to do.

The C's have nine unrestricted free agents, including Ray Allen (who is likely to pick up a $10 million player option for next season), as well as one restricted free agent (Jeff Green). Only Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Jermaine O'Neal, Shaquille O'Neal, and Avery Bradley are officially under contract for next season.

It's unlikely we see either O'Neal back next season, and Nenad Krstic's (FA) future with this team is shaky at best. Glen Davis' poor performance in the playoffs might mean the end of his tenure in Boston.

The C's will have a lot of roster space to work with this offseason. Pending the new collective bargaining agreement and the possibility of a hard cap, the C's could also have a decent amount of cap space.

Assuming Ray Allen returns and both O'Neals retire, the Celtics will have approximately $53 million in committed salaries next season.

Dan is a Boston Celtics featured columnist. Follow him on twitter @dantheman_06.

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