The Boston Celtics opted to waive Abdel Nader this week. The third-year wing thrived in the G-League, but struggled to find a role at the NBA-level.
The decision to cut bait with Nader frees up a roster spot for the Celtics, one they will presumably fill via free agency (though the possibility of a trade should never be ruled out with Danny Ainge involved).
Boston still has its mid-level exception available to use, but is unlikely to dip into that pool of money. The Celtics’ roster is exceptionally deep, and there aren’t many players left on the market that would justify taking the team further into luxury tax territory.
The most likely outcome for Boston is signing someone to the minimum, allowing the team to add a deep-bench player, while simultaneously maintaining the flexibility to dip under the luxury tax threshold, or throw a sizeable offer at someone from this year’s crop of midseason buyouts.
Finding the right player will be an interesting process for the Celtics. Boston is ready to win right now, and will ideally add a player capable of contributing immediately, but not so talented as to start agitating for a more substantial role than what the team can offer.
Hitting the sweet spot won’t be easy, especially given the relative paucity of options now that the summer has worn on. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone that can fit the bill, however. We’ve laid out five potential targets to whom Boston might consider offering the final spot on its roster.