4 names to know for the Celtics’ mid-level exception in free agency
There’s plenty of possibilities as to what the Boston Celtics will do with their $6.5 million mid level exception this offseason.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report even gave a couple names he’s heard based on his intel. Along with those two, here are a couple other names that fill the need of a bench scorer, which the Celtics are targeting this offseason:
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 22: Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots a jumper against Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat during the third quarter in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round at State Farm Arena on April 22, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
This was Fischer’s first of two names, though Gallinari wasn’t yet traded at the time his published. The 6-foot-10 forward spent the past two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks coming off the bench.
He averaged 11.7 points last season and 13.3 the season before. Last season he had shooting splits of 43.4-38.1-90.4 percent from the field, three-point line and foul line.
If San Antonio buys out his entire $21.4 million dollar contract, Boston wouldn’t find much better mid level options than the 33-year-old to come off the bench.
Dec 11, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Warren (1) is called for an offensive foul against Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Warren, an unrestricted free agent, was the second player Fischer linked to the Celtics. The former Pacers wing played four games in the past two seasons due to multiple injuries.
Those that watched basketball in the bubble during 2020 will remember that Warren was one of the league’s hottest players, averaging 26.6 points in 10 games. One of those games was a 54-point outing in a win against the 76ers.
That being said, it’s been a year and a half since Warren played in an NBA game. At still just 28 years old, if Warren can produce solid numbers off Boston’s bench, that would play a pivotal role for them in another NBA Finals run.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 05: Gary Harris #14 of the Orlando Magic looks to pass during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Amway Center on February 05, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.
These next two are just a couple of players that fit the Celtics, and would be reasonably realistic to acquire with their mid-level exception.
The 27-year-old Harris comes off averaging 11.1 points with the Magic this past season. His 43.4-38.4-87.4 shooting splits are solid enough to give Boston another bench piece to ease the scoring burden, so it isn’t entirely on the starting five.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JUNE 16: Otto Porter Jr. #32 and Gary Payton II #0 of the Golden State Warriors help Stephen Curry #30 up against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Right after winning the NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors, Porter becomes an unrestricted free agent. With the Warriors already having so much money tied to the luxury tax, it seems as if Porter will need to find a new team.
When he played, Porter was a very helpful role player for Golden State. He only averaged 19.5 minutes per game, but his shooting splits were 49-40-78 this postseason.
Not only could Porter provide some slight scoring relief off the bench, but also some rebounding help as well. The 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward averaged 5.7 rebounds during the regular season, when he played more.