Projecting Landing Spots for Celtics' Top Free Agents

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 14, 2022

Projecting Landing Spots for Celtics' Top Free Agents

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    The NBA has reasons to fear the Boston Celtics.

    They are ferocious defensively, fiery on offense, long at almost every spot and young at plenty of them.

    Oh, and they are almost all locked into place for next season too.

    The Celtics are technically sending five players into free agency this summer, but even diehard Boston fans might have trouble placing a few of them in a round of Who He Play For? Saying that, though, it's never too early to think about free agents, so we're doing that by making educated guesses on where the Shamrocks' top free agents will land.

Sam Hauser

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    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    While the Celtics ascended to greatness in almost every area this season, long-range shooting was one of the few that fell short.

    Boston was fine but not spectacular, sitting eighth in makes (13.2) and 14th in percentage (35.6). When the Celtics turned unbeatable for nearly two months (going 22-3 from Jan. 29 through March 27), one of the most obvious changes was the club leveling up to elite status from range, ranking fifth in threes (14.2) and fourth in percentage (37.7).

    Given the need for spacing and the clear impact of it, it seems pretty likely the Celtics will want to keep around rookie sharpshooter Sam Hauser.

    The 6'8" swingman splashed 43.2 percent of his long-range looks, and Boston holds a relatively cheap team option on him next season.

    Prediction: Celtics exercise their team option to keep Hauser.

Luke Kornet

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    Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

    Five NBA franchises have seen Luke Kornet and deemed him worthy of a roster spot. The Celtics have reached that conclusion twice, rostering him first in the 2020-21 season and then reuniting in February.

    The appeal is obvious.

    He's a 7'2" center who has, on occasion at least, flashed the coveted combination of shot-blocking and floor-spacing. His career per-36-minutes averages include 2.4 three-pointers and 2.0 blocks, per Basketball Reference. It has been a little while since he has hit many threes, but he cleared 35 percent from range each of his first two seasons, and his career 75.3 free-throw percentage makes you want to buy his shooting touch.

    Someone will probably want another look at Kornet next season, but it almost certainly won't be Boston. At full strength, the Celtics are well covered up front, with Robert Williams III, Al Horford, Daniel Theis and Grant Williams all capable of manning the middle.

    Prediction: Kornet signs a training camp contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Juwan Morgan

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    Mary Kate Ridgway/Getty Images

    Twenty-eight players logged minutes for the Celtics. All but three of them saw more floor time than Juwan Morgan.

    But he has something a lot of them don't: a team option to stay with Boston next season. Granted, it's non-guaranteed, but it might still be enough to get him at least a chance to compete for a roster spot in training camp.

    Morgan made just a single four-minute appearance after signing a 10-day deal with the Celtics, who later inked him to a standard contract. He also played one game for the Toronto Raptors this season and spent the past two with the Utah Jazz.

    It's hard to say whether Morgan can stick at this level much longer, but the Celtics aren't out much to let him try.

    Prediction: Celtics bring Morgan to training camp.