The Boston Celtics have already had a busy offseason. Danny Ainge stepped down from his longtime role as President of Basketball Operations. Brad Stevens, who coached the team from 2013-2021, took over the position that Ainge had previously assumed.
Stevens’ first move brought Al Horford back to Boston—acquiring the five-time All-Star big man from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a blockbuster trade. The Celtics also acquired center Moses Walker and a 2023 second-round pick from the Thunder in exchange for Kemba Walker, the 16th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and a 2025 second-round selection.
From there, Stevens hired Ime Udoka—a former assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets—as the 18th head coach in Celtics franchise history.
Devoid a first-round pick, the 2021 NBA Draft was a quiet one for the Celtics. They drafted shooting guard Juhann Begarin out of France with the 45th overall selection.
With free agency looming, the Celtics need to address some roster holes. Let’s look at some of the best realistic free agency options for Boston.
1. Evan Fournier
The Celtics’ first priority in free agency is to re-sign guard/forward Evan Fournier. They acquired Fournier from the Orlando Magic at last season’s trade deadline—using $17 million of the $28.5 million trade exception from the Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade to the Charlotte Hornets. The Celtics fully intend to ink Fournier to a new contract, which became an easier process financially after making the Horford-for-Walker swap with the Thunder. That move saved the Celtics $8 million in salary.
Boston acquired Fournier’s Bird rights when they traded for the swingman, meaning the Celtics can go over the salary cap to re-sign him this offseason. His chances of remaining with the club, therefore, remain high.
Fournier played 16 games in the regular season with the Celtics, averaging 13 points on 46.3 percent three-point shooting. He missed nine games after testing positive for Covid-19. Fournier logged 15.4 points per contest on 43.3 percent three-point shooting in the Celtics’ opening-round series defeat to the Nets.