NBA Rumors: Celtics Still Might Trade Jae Crowder, Can ‘Patiently Gauge’ Market

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Don’t exhale just yet: The Boston Celtics might not be done wheeling and dealing.

The Celtics made a bold but necessary move Friday by reportedly trading guard Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons, helping them clear the cap space needed to sign free agent Gordon Hayward.

But apparently Boston’s 2017-18 roster still is taking shape — the club is continuing to gauge the trade market for Celtics forward Jae Crowder, per Chris Mannix of Yahoo! Sports’ “The Vertical.”

The C’s needed to move either Bradley, Crowder or Marcus Smart to make room for Hayward’s maximum contract, and the club reportedly was struggling to make deals with teams that realized their predicament. But that pressure now is off after the Bradley trade, meaning Boston can take its time with Crowder and seek out a better return than the potential sign-and-trade with the Utah Jazz that was rumored.

Crowder, who turned 27 on Thursday, is on a five-year contract through 2020 worth just $35 million. That’s incredible value for an above-average defender who averaged 13.9 points per game last season, and whose intangibles and skill set are coveted by many teams throughout the league.

So, while Boston may have gotten the worse end of the Bradley deal in landing Marcus Morris, there’s an obvious upside: Danny Ainge and Co. have much more leverage in a Crowder trade, and now can try to address its need for a rebounding rim protector.

Oh, and it also means Hayward didn’t go suit shopping for nothing.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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