98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
While the focus remains on finding a way to finish the 2019-20 season, the National Basketball Association has established dates for the 2020 NBA Draft and the start of free agency at the season’s end, according a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Per Woj, this year’s draft will be held on Oct. 16, and with the early entry deadline set for Aug. 17. The Celtics possess three first-round selections in this year’s draft, at No. 17, No. 26, and No. 30 overall.
The No. 17 overall pick comes Boston’s way via their lightyears-ago trade with the Grizzlies, while the No. 30 overall pick originally belonged to the Bucks, but was acquired from Phoenix in the Aron Baynes trade at the 2019 NBA Draft. (The Suns got that pick from Milwaukee in the Eric Bledsoe trade.)
There will be an incredibly quick turnaround from the draft to free agency, too, as the league will begin its free agent period on Oct. 18, according to Woj.
Brad Wanamaker is Boston’s lone pending unrestricted free agent, while Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter both have player options for 2020-21. Hayward’s option is for a max $34.187 million, while Kanter’s is for just over $5 million. Hayward could pull an Al Horford and opt out in search of a long-term deal with more financial security (and a relatively weak free agent market would likely give that to him), but saying no to over $34 million is likely going to be tough given his injury history.
Semi Ojeleye, meanwhile, has a $1.75 million club option.
The big story to watch, of course, is Jayson Tatum, as the budding superstar will be eligible to sign a max contract this offseason. It’s believed that the Celtics will be happy to offer him one, too.