As expected, the Celtics are looking to create enough cap room to sign Gordon Hayward by shopping one of their core rotation players, in particular Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, or Jae Crowder.
It isn’t clear which player they would prefer to hang onto, but I would imagine that all of them are being put up for sale, and Danny will sort through the offers and come up with the best value he can get.
Now the rumors are starting to come out.
The Boston Celtics have been aggressively trying to create enough salary cap room to give Gordon Hayward the four-year, $128 million maximum contract he agreed upon by discussing trades involving Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, sources told ESPN.
The Celtics have to make a complicated series of moves to create enough to sign Hayward to the full max. But because the salary cap did not rise as much as projected, they will likely have to trade one or more of those three players to sign Hayward. Sources told ESPN that Boston has discussed trade concepts involving those players with at least half a dozen teams on Wednesday.
Here are some more reports:
Boston reached out to people with NYK about Marcus Smart, per sources. The Knicks' level of interest in Smart at the moment is unclear. https://t.co/QT0CrXVOBh— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 5, 2017
The Celtics offered Jae Crowder to late lottery teams leading up to June's draft, per league sources. Boston asked for pick, young player.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 5, 2017
After landing Gordon Hayward, Boston is showing interest in several free-agent rim protectors. Celtics looking at moves to clear cap space.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 5, 2017
Also, sounds like the Jazz are open to the idea of a sign-and-trade for Hayward.
The Utah Jazz are willing to engage in talks on a Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics, league sources told the Tribune on Wednesday evening, on one condition: Hayward, who committed to signing with the Celtics on Tuesday, would have to agree and get the ball rolling.
I’m sure the Celtics would consider a sign-and-trade deal for Hayward, but it would only make sense for Boston if they get more from Utah than they could get from another team for one of their assets. According to people smarter at math than me, it is technically possible to send Terry Rozier to Utah, and that would allow Boston to keep Bradley, Smart, and Crowder. However, that would essentially be throwing Rozier away for nothing, and eventually the team will have to decide who to pay between Bradley, Smart, and Crowder anyway. Of course, if Utah is willing to throw in something else to sweeten the deal, that would be weighed against other offers from other teams accordingly.
According to Woj, the Celtics and Jazz have engaged in a sign-and-trade scenario where Jae Crowder goes to the Jazz. For this to make sense, one would have to assume that the Celtics would be getting something in return from the Jazz for Crowder.
League source says Jazz and Celtics have been talking "throughout the day" on sign and trade possibilities concerning Jae Crowder— Tony Jones (@tribjazz) July 6, 2017
Source confirms ESPN report that Celtics and Jazz are talking about a Hayward sign-and-trade involving Crowder.— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) July 6, 2017
Bulpett’s report confirms what I’ve been saying, that the Celtics would entertain offers to send Jae Crowder to the Jazz, but not without getting something in return that is greater than what they’d get from other teams for Jae.
Sources indicated the C’s had discussed potential trades with several teams, and they were also looking at the possibility of a sign-and-trade with Utah that would involve Hayward and Crowder. There would be some cap benefits to the Celts in this latter scenario, but they would need to reap some asset(s) from the Jazz beyond simply clearing the proper space for their free agent prize.
This story will surely have more twists and turns before it is over, but it seems like the team is moving forward in order to make the Hayward deal happen.