Starting June 23rd, the NBA’s window for teams to sign players ahead of the league’s resumption of the regular season opens. All 30 NBA teams will have one week to sign current free agents to contracts, with the stipulation that they must have been on an NBA roster at some point during the 2019-20 season. Teams will also have the opportunity to convert players on two-way contracts and the 22 teams heading to Orlando will have the opportunity to sign new players to two-way contracts.
NBA insider Keith Smith reported on Saturday that Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters are both expected to join the Celtics in Orlando, but neither is expected to have their two-way contract converted to give them a full-time roster spot.
With teams being given some flexibility ahead of the league’s temporary relocation to Orlando, here are four players the Celtics could target in the coming days:
A familiar face for the Celtics, Green would provide Boston with a player with knowledge of Brad Stevens’ system who has come in handy in postseason’s past. A lineup change that featured Green in the starting lineup in 2017 provided Boston with the spark they needed to comeback against the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. Stevens clearly has a fondness for Green, who’s scoring touch and athleticism could help a bench unit that currently ranks 2nd to last in the NBA in scoring.
If the Celtics lack anything besides an elite big man, it’s a token shooter. A player that’s one and only skill is knocking down threes. Think JJ Redick or Kyle Korver. Crabbe doesn’t hold a candle to either of those players, but his career three-point percentage of 38.7% isn’t too shabby. He has struggled mightily to find his shot this season with the Hawks and the Timberwolves, but Boston can hope he’ll find his rhythm down in Orlando.
Gasol was waived in November by the Portland Trail Blazers and his NBA career appeared to be over. However, he was quoted in May as saying he hopes to play professional basketball again as the quarantine has given him an opportunity to further his rehab from a foot injury. Gasol underwent surgery over a year ago and could be ready to return to the court once July comes around. With the status of Robert Williams still unknown, Gasol could be an interesting option for the Celtics as a big man with championship experience, something no other player on the Celtics roster currently possesses.
While the fans of Boston are quite fond of the idea of Thomas returning to the Celtics, the front office doesn’t appear to be as intrigued. “I love Isaiah, I just… I’m not sure that he’s the right fit for us,” Danny Ainge said back in February after Thomas was bought out by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Still, the Celtics desperately needed an added scoring punch off the bench and circumstances have changed a lot since Ainge made those comments over four months ago. If Thomas is accepting of a role that may not afford him many minutes and the contract works for the Celtics financially, a reunion makes some sense.
If Disney is truly where dreams come true, it would only be right for Boston fans to see Isaiah Thomas holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy in a Celtics uniform.
Photo: (Barry Chin – Boston Globe)