No big fireworks, but C's add three on day one of free agency


BOSTON -- The first day of free agency didn’t have the kind of fireworks Boston Celtics fans would have liked.

But the Celtics were active, adding 6-foot-9 Amir Johnson and re-signing 6-foot-6 Jae Crowder and 6-foot-8 Jonas Jerebko. The latter two came to Boston in December and at the trade deadline in February, respectively.

So what’s next?

In terms of free agents, not much is expected from this point going forward for the Celtics. There are still some quality free agents Boston could pursue, like Detroit’s Greg Monroe. It appears, however, that Orlando's Tobias Harris is no longer an option.

Give Danny Ainge credit; when the Celts' director of basketball operations said the team was going to take a shot at the free agent class’ top players, he spoke the truth. But when it became apparent the Celtics weren't going to have a shot at landing elite talent like Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Cleveland’s Kevin Love or Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, they immediately went to Plan B, which was to add solid players on short-term contracts.

Johnson agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal with the first year being fully guaranteed.

Jerebko and the Celtics came to terms on a two-year, $10 million pact that’s also fully guaranteed for the first year only.

And the last signing of the day was Crowder, who reportedly came to terms on a five-year, $35 million deal.

Ainge remains hopeful that by the time the season starts, the Celtics will have a significantly stronger roster. But from the very start, he made it clear that Boston’s journey towards becoming a contender again would involve finding ways to strengthen the team in a multitude of ways.

Jerebko was a player Ainge had tried to acquire prior to actually getting him at the trade deadline deal in February. While his numbers in Detroit weren’t huge, Ainge felt he could be a contributor in Brad Stevens’ system.

And Johnson, who spent the past six seasons in Toronto after four in Detroit, is another player who was on the Celtics’ radar. In fact, he was under consideration by the Celtics as far back as the 2005 draft; instead, they selected Orien Green with the 53rd overall pick. Detroit took Johnson three picks later.

As for Crowder, his leadership, effort and tough-minded play won over both fans and management this season.

Ainge is focused on finding the best players, but even more important he says is finding the best fit.

“There’s a lot of players that are undervalued," he said, "or on certain teams that aren’t good fits for (that particular team) but may be a good fit for us."

Contact Us