• Nicolas Batum

Nicolas Batum (Photo : NBAE via Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics are expected to be major players in this summer's free agency, where the Cs could address the need to sign talented small forward to add wing depth.

After a disappointing exit from the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, the Celtics will try to reassess the team's need to further improve their lineup for next season.

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The Celtics are in deep need of a go-to-scorer and that became evident in the seven-game-series against the Hawks, which makes OKC Thunder forward Kevin Durant the obvious free agent to pursue. But there is a growing sense Boston would make a run to focus on wing depth as Jae Crowder could become the only option in case Evan Turner joins another team in the summer.

Michael Pina of Fox Sports listed players the Celtics should pursue, and part of the potential targets are Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors and Nicolas Batum of the Charlotte Hornets.

According to Pina, Barnes could be a candidate to fill the small forward slot of the Celtics, and his "intangibles, athleticism and work ethic" would be a welcome addition to a team committed to playing with determination and hard work.

However, Pina admitted Barnes is still not prepared for a bigger role, much more for the most storied franchise in NBA history, despite the 23-year-old's playoff experience.

Moreover, Barnes heads into the market as a restricted free agent, which means the Warriors could match any offer given to the Barnes, who could expect more lucrative deals than his four-year $8.7 million contract with GSW.

Meanwhile, Batum seems to be a more realistic option for the Celtics as the Frenchman is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

According to Bill Reynolds of The Herald News, the Celtics are heavily-relying on Isaiah Thomas' offense, which has been evident in the postseason. While Thomas certainly has the capability to light up the scoring sheet, Reynolds insisted that Boston should have another offensive player.

Batum would be a huge acquisition for the Celtics and would give the team another scorer, who could create his own opportunities as good as his abilities to play the offense without the ball in his hands.

However, Batum could be seeking for a more lucrative deal in the summer market, and while the Celtics have the money to spend on top free agents, they would probably assess whether the 27-year-old deserve a max contract, considering his recent injuries that limited him in the Hornets' series against the Miami Heat.

The Celtics could start to bolster their roster as early as the 2016 NBA draft, where they have a chance to acquire the top three pick, thanks to the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected draft pick. But free agency may present Boston more opportunities to sign the players they need, and with a projected maximum salary cap of $53.3 million, the Celtics are in for potential marquee signings.