To TPE or not to TPE

Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

Today is the final day for Brad Stevens to use the Evan Fournier TPE.

Here’s the skinny from CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith:

Backup center is widely considered the most likely position that President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens will target with at least one of the remaining three roster spots before training camp opens up in September. Even after signing Mfiondu Kabengele to a two-way contract on Saturday and re-signing Luke Kornet earlier in the offseason, the departure of Daniel Theis leaves a bit of a hole in the front court depth chart. Here’s CelticsBlog’s Bobby Manning on a few potential candidates:

Bobby also notes a few names that could be available with Boston’s remaining TPE’s (should the Fournier TPE expire and go unused today) before the trade deadline in February. Here’s a more comprehensive list from Keith with two names that stick out:

· Kelly Olynyk – $12,804,878 – Detroit Pistons: Detroit is flush with bigs now. And they are young bigs that need to play. The Celtics could probably get Olynyk without sending much to the Pistons. And he’d fit in perfectly on both ends of the floor.

· Mason Plumlee – $9,080,417 – Charlotte Hornets: With Boston having filled their other needs, it pushes Plumlee up this list. The Hornets drafted Mark Williams and presumably will want to play him, while also saving some small-ball minutes for P.J. Washington. Plumlee could probably be acquired without the Celtics have having to send much to Charlotte.

With the Celtics nearly $20 million over the tax threshold, they’re already ticketed to pay roughly $45 million in luxury tax and that bill could balloon even higher if they chose to bring in another large salary. Those may be “rich people problems” when it comes to fans wanting ownership to shell out a little more for a clear contender, but it’s certainly something to consider nonetheless.

Boston could still sign a veteran free agent big to a veteran minimum this summer, too. Former Celtics Greg Monroe and Tristan Thompson are still on the market. What does the fanbase feel about DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, and Hassan Whiteside? If the Celtics go young, did Trevion Williams show enough in Summer League?

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