NBA free agency rumors: Celtics making Nikola Vucevic a 'top priority'

The Celtics, who now expect to see center Al Horford walk in free agency, apparently have a replacement in mind: Nikola Vucevic.

According to Shams Charania of Stadium, the 7-foot center will be “one of the top priorities potentially” for the Celtics. 

Vucevic, 28, averaged career highs in points (20.8) and rebounds (12) per game last season for the Magic and reportedly is working on a new contract with Orlando. But ESPN reported Thursday that if they can’t reach an agreement, the Celtics and Lakers could be destinations for the All-Star.  

The Celtics and Horford had been expected to reach new contract terms until earlier this week, when he reportedly rejected a three-year offer.

While Vucevic’s offensive skills would be an asset for Boston, he’s not a strong defender, which seemingly makes him a bad fit for coach Brad Stevens’ emphasis on defense.

The Celtics reportedly also have “checked in” with the Rockets about a trade for big man Clint Capela.