This isn’t going to be one of those articles that will wind up with the Boston Celtics landing Tyson Chandler, Nene and David West to sure up the middle of their rotation. No, it’s an article that will look at the players the Celtics’ have a realistic chance of signing during free agency, when and if the lockout ever ends.
First things first—the Boston Celtics are going to be over the salary cap during the 2011-12 season. The team’s roster currently consists of seven players costing the team $72 million-plus, which doesn’t include JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore (so nine players).
Last year’s NBA cap was $58 million, which means that the Celtics will only have their “exceptions” to use on players this year, assuming of course the cap doesn’t jump $25 million. It’ll be going down in all likelihood.
The Celtics do have the luxury of a $2.4 million trade exception, acquired in the deal that sent Marquis Daniels to Sacramento, so that’s a bit of bonus for the team. They’ll be able to use that on a better than average player. They’ll also have their mid-level exception (approximately $6 million) and the bi-annual exception (approximately $1.6 million). Finally, the old rules allow a team to go over the cap to sign players to veteran minimums.
Keeping all this in mind, here is a list of players the Celtics should target whenever the lockout ends and business as usual resumes.