It's widely known at this point that the Celtics are looking to make runs at several top-tier free agents this summer. Given how hard the team competed at the tail end of the season as well as against the Finals-bound Cavs, it's entirely possible that Boston may be a big signing or a couple smaller signings away from legitimately contending for a high seed in the East. Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge recently reached out to new sixth man Isaiah Thomas for suggestions on who the team should target in the offseason, although NBA.com writers Shaun Powell and Ian Thomsen are sure his involvement will make little difference. A couple days ago, Powell, Thomsen and six other writers gave their opinions on who Boston should put effort into pursuing and why.

Steve Aschburner thinks the most realistic pitch for a big Celtics' free agency acquisition will be for Kevin Love. The Love-to-Boston rumors have been heating up as of late, and this can be attributed to Adrian Wojnarowski's claim that the Celtics have a real, legitimate chance at landing him. There are a number of understandable reasons for Love to look for work elsewhere, and the first and most obvious is that the Cavs have thrived in his absence. Tristan Thompson is coming off his most well-rounded and efficient season yet, shooting 54.7% from the field compared to 48% last year, and recording 8 rebounds (3.3 offensive) in a mere 27 minutes per game.

It is also clear that LeBron James, who should be in Cleveland for the long haul, has built a visible rapport with Thompson; we all know that as long as LeBron is with the Cavaliers, the organization will surround him with guys he wants to compete with. Despite being downplayed, the on-again-off-again, passive aggressive drama between the two stars likely won't result in Love wanting to stay. Kevin Love may be our most realistic shot at obtaining star-level talent through free agency. Lang Whittaker, however, is not so sure he will be as willing to examine Boston because of the Olynyk ordeal. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in this respect.

Both Sekou Smith and Fran Blinebury believe the Celtics should make a hard push for Hawks' wing DeMarre Carroll. The 28-year-old small forward has improved statistically every year in the league and is now considered by many to be an elite perimeter defender. He can be likened to a richer man's Jae Crowder and perhaps a poorer man's Kawhi Leonard. Carroll's veteran presence and experience would be helpful, particularly if Boston is unable to retain Crowder. If they do keep Jae, he and DeMarre could be a formidable one-two-punch and bring energy and toughness on both sides of the ball. Carroll would be a nice pickup for the green.

Josh Schuhmann believes Boston should focus most of their efforts to improve their roster on bringing in a rim protector and shooters. With rumors circulating around Texas teams like San Antonio and Dallas making runs at All-star bigs like Marc Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge, it could make sense for the Celtics to try and swipe up a Danny Green, a Marco Belinelli, or even a Monta Ellis. Any of the above would help fill the need and take unnecessary offensive pressure off defensive studs like Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley and even Crowder.

Scott Howard-Cooper is under the impression that while the team will probably make obligatory runs at Jimmy Butler and DeAndre Jordan, their first call should be to Orlando forward Tobias Harris. Firstly, he is very young at 22 years old and he's already been in the NBA for five seasons. As a 6'8", 225 lbs improving outside shooter, he could start at the 3 but also slide to the power forward spot to stretch the floor; this would be particularly useful if we land Jordan or Gasol, or trade for center DeMarcus Cousins.

Like Carroll, Harris' numbers have improved every season he's played. While teams with money will be looking at the popular top-tier stars, Harris could fly under the radar. If Boston chooses to cash in for Harris, they would likely find themselves with another young, hardworking, tough kid, and he has potential to be the best pick-up of that ilk yet.

Eight distinct NBA.com contributors with eight almost entirely different takes on how Boston should go about retooling this offseason. But this is good. We have of choices. It's always good to have more options than fewer; Ainge has allowed for the green to go whichever route they see most appropriate, and none of them sound too shabby.

Follow Sam on Twitter @bosgreenroom                 

Photos:   Top via Sean Sarcu, Getty Images
               Middle via Maddie Meyer, Getty Images
               Bottom via Mike Foss, USATSI 

Sam DuBois 5/30/2015 06:14:00 PM Edit
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