Both conference finals have finally come to an end and both extended to seven games for the first time since 1979. Two teams, the Celtics, and the Rockets came within just one game of reaching the NBA Finals. Both of these squads have important decisions to make regarding free agency after they came so close to having a chance to win a championship.

This article looks at the most important free agent (and other notable ones) on both teams.

  • To see the most important free agent on teams eliminated in the conference semifinals, click here.
  • To see the most important free agent on teams eliminated in the first round, click here.
  • To see the most important free agent on non-playoff teams, click here.

Boston Celtics

  • Marcus Smart, G (Restricted - Age: 24)

Smart will likely be a restricted free agent as long as the Celtics tender the slightly over $6 million qualifying offer to him.

He stated to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, after Boston was eliminated, that he believes he is worth more than $12-14 million a year with all that he does.

This season in 54 games (11 starts), Smart posted averages of 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game. The four-year pro shot 36.7 percent from the field (career 36 percent), 30.1 percent on threes (career 29.3 percent), and 72.9 percent from the free-throw line (career 75.6 percent). Five of 100 media members voted him as an All-Defensive First Team member for the season, although he didn’t receive enough votes to make either the First or Second Team.

  • Other notable free agents.

Greg Monroe, C (Unrestricted - Age: 28) - Monroe averaged 19.1 minutes per game in his 26 outings with the Celtics after signing with the team in February and went on to average 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.

His role decreased in the postseason though, and he didn’t play in four of the seven games against Cleveland including Game 7.

Aron Baynes, C (Unrestricted - Age: 31) - Baynes started 67 games for Boston this season. In 18.3 minutes per games, he finished with averages of 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds. He went on to average 6.0 points and 6.2 rebounds in his 19 playoff appearances.

Shane Larkin, PG (Unrestricted - Age: 26) - After spending the previous year playing for Baskonia in Spain, Larkin played in 54 games for Boston this season. He averaged 14.4 minutes per game and put up numbers of 4.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. A shoulder ailment kept him out through the entirety of the conference finals.

Houston Rockets

  • Chris Paul (Unrestricted - Age: 33)

It will be interesting to see if the Rockets offer Paul a max deal this offseason. While his importance during his first season with Houston can’t be stated enough, it was an injury-riddled one which has been a theme in many seasons during his career. He missed Games 6 and 7 of the Western Conference Finals with a right hamstring strain.

In 58 games this season, the nine-time All-Star averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and 1.7 steals in 31.8 minutes per game. He made 46.0 percent of his field goal tries, 38.0 percent of his three-pointers, and a career-best 91.9 percent of his free throws. Paul barely missed out on both All-NBA and All-Defensive honors (likely due to missing 24 games) as he finished with the most votes in both for someone who wasn’t named to any of the teams.

  • Other notable free agents.

Clint Capela, C (Restricted - Age: 24) - In his fourth season, Capela continued to grow as a player this season and averaged a double-double (13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds). His 65.2 field goal percentage led the entire league. He received six points in All-NBA voting, tied with Draymond Green for eighth-most by a player who didn’t make any of the three teams.

Trevor Ariza, SF (Unrestricted - Age: 33) - A former second-round pick, Ariza has now played 14 seasons, with the last four coming with Houston. In 67 games (all starts) this season, he posted averages of 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. His 1,424 career steals rank 52nd all-time. He connected on 170 three-pointers, the fifth straight season he has reached that number.

Luc Mbah a Moute (Unrestricted - Age: 32) - Mbah a Moute started 15 of his 61 appearances in the regular season for the Rockets. He averaged 7.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game while nailing 36.4 percent of his three-point attempts. A strong defender, he received one All-Defensive First Team and four Second Team votes.

Gerald Green (Unrestricted - Age: 32) - Green wasn’t signed until December 28 but played a large role from the get-go. In 41 games (two starts), the 11-year NBA veteran averaged 12.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game. He attempted 7.3 threes a game and made 36.9 percent of them.