WALTHAM, Mass. — “Rebuilding” doesn’t mean the Boston Celtics will stop trying to get better at all in the short run.
Restricted free agents Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons were among about 30 players the Celtics contacted early Tuesday morning after teams were allowed to contact free agents, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reported, citing sources. Kent Bazemore, Jordan Hill and Isaiah Thomas reportedly also were on the Celtics’ early call list.
Hayward would be an obvious match for the Celtics, having played for coach Brad Stevens at Butler. Parsons also is expected to be highly sought in free agency, perhaps as a consolation prize to LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Both players’ teams could match any contract offer they receive.
Still, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge isn’t giving up on improving the team from within.
“Hayward will draw interest from across the league, and according to the source, the Celtics for the moment appear committed to resolving matters with their own free agent: (Avery) Bradley,” Murphy wrote.