Surprise destinations for 3 impending free agents


The Boston Celtics have several potentially outbound free agents this offseason after falling short in the postseason. Where might they land?

With the postseason officially being over for the Boston Celtics, the offseason looms large in the not-so-distant future. There’s an entire October that will see a champion crowned in both the NBA and MLB, and then there’s the first half of November, which will see the results of the most important election of our lifetimes.

So, yeah, beyond all of that, this is a pivotal offseason for a Celtics team that fell just short of the NBA Finals with their third Eastern Conference finals loss in the last four years. There likely won’t be many incoming free agents beyond a potential MLE signing, but there will be losses.

Three incoming first-round picks mean some Cs won’t be suiting up for the 2020-21 roster. Here are 3 surprise destinations for 3 potential outbound Boston Celtics free agents:

Toronto Raptors – Enes Kanter, C

With the Toronto Raptors having three centers on the free-agent market this summer (Marc Gasol [UFA], Serge Ibaka [UFA], Chris Boucher [RFA]), they can be looking for potential one-year deals to fill out their 2020-21 roster. They may have long-term plans of luring Giannis Antetokounmpo in free agency, and they may be handing out a big multi-year pact to Fred VanVleet–making them unwilling to give long-term money to anyone else.

Enes Kanter could be the beneficiary of a team that would be able to mask his defensive shortcomings. Remember, the Turkish pivot was a starter on the 2018-19 Portland Trailblazers team that reached the Western Conference finals. Nick Nurse would very likely maximize his offensive talents while helping him earn a long-term deal in 2021.

Credit to Sportskeeda for the possibility.

Los Angeles Lakers – Brad Wanamaker, PG

With Rajon Rondo playing so well in the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers may be in need of a replacement for the former Boston Celtics point guard. Assuming they will use their cap space to bring back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris and Rondo looks for a more solidified starting role elsewhere, Brad Wanamaker could be a nice signing for the Lakers for the veteran’s minimum.

For the 31-year-old Wanamaker, he can join a team clearly closer to contention than Boston. He may also be able to see more time on the floor in Los Angeles next season than he would in Beantown–with several first-round picks potentially yielding a floor general and Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters waiting in the wings.

New York Knicks – Semi Ojeleye, SF/PF

The New York Knicks threw big money last offseason on one-year rentals…many of them that likely will never play another minute at Madison Square Garden ever again. Among the players unlikely to spend their long-term (or immediate) futures in the Mecca include Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock–two career 38 percent 3-point shooters.

Semi Ojeleye reached that milestone this past season, and his sturdy frame and defensive chops could be a good fit on Tom Thibodeau’s roster. It isn’t a stretch to imagine a multi-year offer for Ojeleye starting around $7 million per year for the three-year pro. That may just be too much for a Cs team so deep in the luxury tax.

Next: Ainge hints Cs may make moves this offseason