NBA Rumors: Boston Targeting Three Former Celtics In Free Agency

Could Jeff Green, Avery Bradley or Kelly Olynyk make a comeback


August 1, 2021

If Brad Stevens didn’t want to see some of his former players leave Boston, he now has a chance to get them back.

The Celtics’ new president of basketball operations already traded for veteran big Al Horford with the first move he made after the promotion. And when the NBA free agency window opens up Monday, Stevens might be looking to bring in a few more familiar faces.

According to a report from The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, former Celtics Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk are targets Boston could pursue, along with Spurs players Rudy Gay and and Patty Mills.

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

According to a league source, the Celtics prefer to pursue a player with extensive experience and are focused on adding size and shooting, and forward Jeff Green is believed to be a primary target. Green played for the Celtics from 2011-2015, including a season and a half with Stevens as his head coach.

… The team could also pursue Spurs forward Rudy Gay and former Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, according to a league source. ... Backcourt options include players such as Spurs veteran Patty Mills — who was also coached by Udoka — and former Celtics guard Avery Bradley, according to a league source.

That would be a throwback. As NBA writer Keith Smith put it well, it’s “like the Celtics are building the ‘What could have been…’ version of the team.”

Of course, a lot of this rides on whether or not the Celtics will be able to re-sign Evan Fournier. The veteran wing’s asking price is a reported $20 million per year, and it doesn’t seem like the two parties are close to an agreement.

That would be best-case scenario, since Boston has Bird Rights on Fournier allowing the Celtics to go over the salary cap. But after signing two-way guard Josh Richardson, the Celtics might be preparing for the alternative.

Free agency gets going Monday at 6 p.m. ET. They’ll go from there.

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