The two defensive stalwarts of the Celtics of 2015-17, Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley, are two of the top guards remaining on the NBA free agent market. The Celtics don’t have much wiggle room to sign one player in free agency right now – let alone two, so it’s highly unlikely that both players would be back in green this coming season. That said, many other contenders who would have interest in Smart and Bradley are cash-strapped as well. If either player is going to take a discount on a short commitment – one would think Boston would be the destination.
The Warriors, who somehow are circumventing the salary cap at every turn, are said to be interested in landing Bradley in NBA free agency.
“The Warriors are projected to be paying an extra $3.25 per dollar tax by the time they’re making decision about the supporting cast,” USA Today’s Sam Amick wrote. “As such, a player who was given their entire taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.3 million would actually cost $22.5 million. A minimum salary addition of $2.3 million, by comparison, would cost approximately $7.1 million (the NBA-only taxes approximately $1.5 million on minimum deals).
“Golden State has discussed Avery Bradley as an option, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen the eight-year veteran hound the Warriors’ scorers these past few years.”
Bradley met with the Clippers on Sunday, and it’s most likely that he’ll re-sign in LA. The Clippers also met with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on Sunday, but he was quickly scooped up by the Lakers – which means Bradley is the Clippers’ top priority right now.
NBA rumors Celtics Warriors Avery Bradley Marcus Smart
Meanwhile, Smart’s best play is to come back to the Celtics for next season and to then try his hand as an unrestricted free agent next summer. The market for Smart is already dry. The Kings have the money to sign him, but haven’t been linked to him seriously yet. The Thunder have been mentioned as a possible landing spot but don’t have the money after re-signing Paul George.
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