A big mistake by the Celtics in the 2021 NBA Free Agency

The Boston Celtics saw a turnover in the front office this offseason with longtime president Danny Ainge leaving his post. Subsequently, Boston promoted head coach Brad Stevens to replace Ainge. Stevens did not waste his time making a splash and renewing the Celtics list.

A few weeks after getting the job, Stevens replaced Kemba Walker, the 16th overall pick in the NBA Draft in 2021, and a future second-round pick for the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for former Celtics great Al Horford, Moses Brown, and a future pick in the second round. Stevens did not hold on to Brown for long as they swapped the young center for the Dallas Mavericks and brought in Josh Richardson to bolster their wing depth. He then handed out Tristan Thompson and acquired Kris Dunn and Bruno Fernando in a three-team deal.

As aggressive as the Celtics were in the wheels and the handling of other teams, the same cannot be said in terms of recruiting free agents. The Celtics only signed two players this offseason. They brought the former Center Enes Kanter back to a one-year deal. Boston also got a good deal by signing point guard Dennis Schroder — who previously declined a massive contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers — to a $ 5.9 million one-year deal after the market dried up on him.

These moves this summer suggest Boston wants to maintain its pay-cut flexibility in the long run, while blocking their core for the future. On paper, the Celtics have a team that can remain competitive in the upcoming season. But they could certainly have signed another player who could deliver some play and shoot creation on the perimeter and help them improve their offense.

While they wanted to get out of his hefty deal, that was exactly what the Celtics lost by trading Kemba Walker away.

As it turns out, their point guard rotation consists of Dennis Schroder, Marcus Smart, Payton Pritchard and Kris Dunn. Although they have some playmaking chops, the three are not necessarily known for that skill. Smart and Dunn’s vocations are defensive specialists. Pritchard could make a leap in that regard, but he’s still just a sophomore and is unlikely to be their main playmaker in attack.

Schroder is probably the closest who would fill the void left by Walker given his ability to create his own shot and make games for his teammates. The German point guard is mostly considered a slasher who could give 15 to 18 points at night, but he is not known for his shooting. While shooting a career-best 38.5 percent from three in the 2019-20 season — where he finished second in this year’s sixth man — Schroder’s 3-point shooting voted down near his career cut in his lone season with the Lakers, where he shot just 33.5 percent.

There were also rumors that the Celtics brought back former franchise star Isaiah Thomas. IT played only three games in the 2020-21 season with the New Orleans Pelicans. Since then, he has worked extremely hard to get back to the NBA.

Even though their guard rotation seems loaded on paper, Boston might still consider bringing Thomas back because of their need for a main guard. The double All-Star is unlikely to lay 30 at night as he did in the 2016-17 season, but he should be able to give the Celtics a secondary playmaker and a skilled shooter to ease the offensive strain of Jayson Tatum.

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