There’s been plenty of good and bad so far in NBA free agency, but the Boston Celtics and three other teams are off to terrible starts.
It’s the happiest time of the year in the NBA, and that fact is compounded with the combination of the draft and free agency in the same week. Of course, if it’s not a happy time, it’s the absolute worst time, and for a handful of teams (led by the Boston Celtics), it’s been downright awful.
Let’s take a look at just why the Celtics have had a terrible time so far, and then we’ll go on to a few other teams having just as bad of a time.
Why the Boston Celtics are having a miserable free agency
The Boston Celtics always seem to be on the verge of making a big deal for a star, only to decide they’re fine without a blockbuster trade and come up just short in the end. Over the last couple of seasons, it’s even worse than that. Not only have the Celtics been unable to swing a big deal for a star or two, they’ve been losing their own.
Last season they lost Kyrie Irving in free agency, receiving nothing in return. While considering how poorly the relationship was by the end of Irving’s time in Boston, it’s fair to say that getting him out of the locker room was a win by itself, but it’s still a poor result for a max-level player.
This time around, they lost Gordon Hayward also for nothing. He opted out of his $34 million 2020-21 salary, and while he and the team were apparently working to find a sign-and-trade in order to maximize him as an asset, he ended up departing to the Charlotte Hornets and signing a gigantic four-year, $120 million deal.
That contract is certainly an overpay and not something the Celtics should have tried to match, but losing top-end players and replacing them with nothing so far isn’t the best way to get back to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Maybe the Celtics will turn it around, but so far they’re one of our headlining teams for Bad Times During Free Agency.