NBA Rumors: Nikola Vucevic will be one of Celtics' ‘top priorities' this summer


The Celtics had themselves a solid 2019 NBA Draft Thursday night, selecting Romeo Langford 14th, Grant Williams 22nd, Carsen Edwards 33rd and Tremont Waters 51st overall.

If you factor in Al Horford's expected departure, Aron Baynes' trade to the Suns and Daniel Theis' upcoming free agency, the Celtics only have two certified big men on the roster in Robert Williams and Guerschon Yabusele. If Kyrie Irving leaves as expected too, the Celtics can expect at least $25.8 million in cap space to potentially use on a player to fill the hole at center. 

During the latter part of the second round of the draft, Adrian Wojnarowski said the Celtics and Lakers are potential landing spots for free agent center Nikola Vucevic if he can't re-work a contract with the Magic. 

Shams Charania echoed Boston's interest in Vucevic after the draft as well. 

I'm told that Nikola Vucevic is going to be one of the top priorities potentially for the Boston Celtics in July, and for the Celtics that meant shedding some salary and now they can prioritze signing a big man to replace Al Horford and also try to prioritize Terry Rozier, who's a restricted free agent in July. 

Vucevic had a career-year in 2018-19, averaging 20.8 points, 3.8 assists and 12 rebounds on 51.8 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from three. Vucevic earned himself his first All-Star selection and lead the Magic to the playoffs before getting bounced in the first round by the eventual champion Raptors. 

It's difficult to tell what the market would be on a player like Vucevic, who will be entering his age-29 season in 2019-20 and has questions surrounding his defensive versatility. The Lakers may be more desperate to get a player like him than the Celtics. After the Anthony Davis trade, LA doesn't have a lot of money to work with to fill out basically an entire roster. 

Whether it's Vucevic, Clint Capela or Steven Adams, the next step in the Celtics' re-tooling phase will most likely involve finding a center.

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