In many ways it is no surprise that the Celtics decided to stay put at the dead line. Danny Ainge is always looking for the perfect deal and many sources say that Ainge was just not willing to meet the asking price for both Paul George or Jimmy Butler. Now that the trade deadline has ended look for the Celtics to be active in the buyout market. With some key role players seeking buyouts the Celtics could still add another piece to the puzzle. The Celtics can effectively sign a player with the 1.1 million remaining in cap space or through the 2.9 million mid level exception. The Celtics staying put has kept their flexibility for the summer and the Celtics still have the ability to make a splash after the lottery and we know the position of the 2017 Nets pick. Don't forget the Celtics can still sign a free agent such as Gordon Hayward during the off season with the cap space they'll have available.
Andrew Bogut - Bogut was reportedly seeking to be bought out while he was in Dallas before the deadline. Now that the deadline has passed and Bogut has been traded to the 76ers there is an even higher likely hood that a buy out will happen. Bogut would be a great option for the Celtics as he is not only a great defensive player but also a great rebounder. This year Bogut is collecting 30.2% of all defensive rebounds while he is on the court. The Celtics will face stiff competition in signing Bogut from the Cavs. Golden State would seem like a good fit but since they traded him this season to the Mavericks they are not allowed to resign him.
Terrence Jones- Jones is another player who the Celtics could target after he is bought out by the Pelicans. So far Jones has played well this season and he could add athleticism to the Celtics front court while also providing better rebounding than both Jerebko and Olynyk. The market for Jones is also likely to be competitive but the Celtics would be a good fit for him.
Even without making a move at the deadline the Celtics do still have avenues to improve the team for a playoff run this year.
Once the lottery has been completed the value of the 2017 Nets pick will be established giving the Celtics more bargaining power. This will give the Celtics the ability to trade for Paul George or Jimmy Butler. However, there is also the possibility that the Celtics get another key player in free agency such as Gordon Hayward.
Sign Gordon Hayward- Many people don't know that Brad Stevens was Hayward's college coach at Butler and that the two have a great relationship. Hayward has the option to opt out of his deal after this season and sign a max contract in free agency. If this were to happen the Jazz would have to make a serious decision about bringing him back. With George Hill also due for a pay raise the Jazz will be well over the cap and most likely cannot afford both players. This gives the Celtics the perfect opportunity to add another star without surrendering any assets.
Trade for Paul George- At the end of the season the Pacers will be able to offer Paul George a contract extension if he refuses the extension then it puts the Pacers in a tough situation. This would cause the value of George to drop which could allow for the Celtics to get him without surrendering the both of the Nets picks. At this point it looks like a trade for George could come either before the draft or the night of. Over the course of the summer rumors will swirl but in the end it will come down to if Ainge is willing to meet the Pacers asking price.
Trade for Jimmy Butler- The rumors of Jimmy Butler to the Celtics will continue to swirl. If the Celtics end up with the first overall pick in the draft after the lottery then that pick and several other pieces could be enough to acquire Butler. How the rest of this season goes will really determine on whether or not the Bulls are looking for a rebuild. If the Bulls make the playoffs and advance past the first round I find it doubtful that the Bulls would go into rebuild mood.