The Celtics successfully persuaded free-agent swingman Gordon Hayward to leave the Utah Jazz and come to Boston on a four-year max contract, but the C’s work isn’t done yet.
They still need more salary cap space to fit Hayward’s $128 million deal (which included a player option for Year 4) into their salary structure.
How are they going to do that? According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the Celtics have talked to teams about “trades involving Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, sources told ESPN.”
Wojnarowski and Shelburne also reported, citing sources, that “Boston has discussed trade concepts involving those players with at least half a dozen teams on Wednesday.”
ESPN’s report calls Crowder the “most logical move.” It’s hard to argue with that assertion. He’s signed to a very team-friendly contract, and let’s not forget his issue with Celtics fans cheering Hayward during the Jazz’s lone visit to Boston last season.
Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated also shared this nugget about the Celtics’ willingness to trade Crowder.
Smart and Bradley should have value as excellent defenders with playoff experience. Both are entering the final years of their respective contracts, too, so any team acquiring them wouldn’t be making a long-term financial commitment.
The Celtics reportedly are pursuing free-agent rim protectors, too, as the team currently lacks frontcourt depth and shot blocking.
Even with Hayward’s commitment, the Celtics’ offseason work is far from over.
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