While it isn’t clear if Boston Globe beat writer Gary Washburn is speculating or has heard a little bird chirping about players of interest to the Celtics’ front office, he did bring up a potential player of interest for the team should a Beal pursuit not work out. “A potential Celtics free agent target could be Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who is entering the final year of his contract,” writes the Globe analyst of a different direction the Celtics could take.
The cap logistics required to sign LaVine would require a fair amount of wizardry to make such a move work, but would also leave a tiny bit more wiggle room for Boston than the larger max deal Beal would be eligible for as a 10-year plus veteran.
“He will have to prove he can lead the Bulls to the playoffs before a contract extension,” adds Washburn.
“LaVine changed representation recently and signed with Klutch Sports, which is usually the move for players who want to maximize their free agent potential. LaVine, 26, just coming off helping Team USA to the gold medal, will ask for a maximum contract … The Olympic experience may have enhanced LaVine’s value because he was asked to be a three-and-D player, sparking the Americans with his full-court defense and ability to run the floor. In the case that Bradley Beal decides to stay in Washington, LaVine could be the Celtics’ No. 1 target.”
Still, it’s not guaranteed that his current team values the rising wing star, given, as the Globe reporter notes, the “Bulls, who added DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball in the offseason, have full intentions to be a factor in the Eastern Conference.” https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1436736332391493645?s=20
Lavine will have eight years total experience by next offseason, commanding a potential $33.7 million max salary — about $6 million less than Beal — that makes a free agency pursuit just within the realm of plausible. Whether via an outright signing requiring moving players to open up space in advance or via a sign-and-trade that would hard cap the team, such a move would transform Boston’s roster if such a move did come to fruition. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=57949,57932,57926,57921] [listicle id=57918]
Source: Yahoo Sports