The Celtics may have been one of the busiest teams in the league during the opening hours of NBA free agency.
According to a report today from Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald, the Celtics have reached out to a long list of players since teams were allowed to start contacting players Tuesday morning, including some high profile names.
Celtics contacted approximately 30 players last night, according to source. Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons are on the list.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) July 1, 2014
Parsons and Hayward are both small forwards and are also restricted free agents. Their current teams (Houston and Utah respectively) will have a chance to match any offer made by the Celtics or any other NBA team. As is the case with Boston’s interest in Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics do not currently have the salary cap room to sign either player for what they both will command on the open market (likely at least $10 million per season).
Boston’s best hope of landing either player will be as part of a larger sign-and-trade deal, likely involving the team’s $10.3 million trade exception. Boston fans should not get too excited about that possibility though since Boston will face stiff competition from the rest of the league in acquiring Hayward or Parsons.
So who are the other players the Celtics have reached out to so far in free agency besides Hayward, Parsons, and Thomas? There are a couple more lower-profile names that have popped up in recent reports.
Kent Bazemore, a 24-year-old guard who averaged 6 points and 1.7 assists in 13 minutes per game for the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors last year was contacted by a notable member of the Celtics this morning, according to Real GM.
Kent Bazemore received a personal phone call from Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens after the start of free agency at midnight, a league source told RealGM. Bazemore and Stevens have a history and mutual respect: Stevens’ Butler program eliminated Bazemore’s Old Dominion team in the NCAA tournament in 2011. Bazemore also received free-agent interest from the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks.
Free agent power forward Jordan Hill also heard from Boston on Tuesday morning.
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) July 1, 2014
Hill was one of the few bright spots on an atrocious Lakers team last season, averaging 9.7 points and 7.4 rebounds in just 20.8 minutes per game.
We’ll keep you posted on the names of other Celtics free agent targets as they continue to surface in the coming days.