When it comes to NBA rumors, you always can count on the Boston Celtics being right in the middle.
Ever since president of basketball operations Danny Ainge started stockpiling his draft and player assets with the C’s 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets, Boston has been at the forefront for some of the biggest rumors throughout the league.
The NBA, as a whole, has been wacky with the ridiculous amount of rumors this offseason, including the trade talks surrounding Kristaps Porzingis, Paul George and Jimmy Butler. Butler already was dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and it appears the Porzingis rumblings went nowhere. But it wouldn’t be surprising if the Indiana Pacers trade George any day now. The C’s have been linked to all three players, and they still could land George despite Indiana’s reported “unrealistic” ask.
But with NBA free agency beginning on July 1, it’s a good time to get caught up on all the soon-to-be free agents the Celtics recently have been linked to. There are players like Paul Millsap and Serge Ibaka on the market, both of whom the C’s have been linked to in prior trade rumors. But there haven’t been any new rumblings of late for either player.
But the same can’t be said for these four players.
The Utah Jazz swingman is one of the top free agents who might actually go for a change of scenery, and he reportedly has three teams interested in him — the Jazz, Celtics and Miami Heat. Hayward played for Boston coach Brad Stevens when they both were at Butler, so the Celtics’ system should be a good fit. Plus, Hayward is part of the C’s reported master plan, which includes signing Hayward and trading for George.
The same report that mentioned Boston’s master plan added that Griffin could be a potential backup option for the C’s if they don’t get Hayward. Griffin, while often injured, also would fit an obvious need for the Celtics. Boston could use an inside presence, especially one who can rebound, and Griffin fills that void when healthy. The Los Angeles Clippers appear to be on the verge of a rebuild, too, after trading Chris Paul, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Griffin go elsewhere.
If the Celtics miss out on their top choices, Gay could be part of their backup plan, according to a recent report. While Gay obviously wouldn’t be the same splash as Hayward and/or George, he is a talented wing scorer who could be a helpful piece for Boston.
There haven’t been many concrete reports linking the Celtics to Gallinari so far this offseason, although Boston reportedly has been interested in the small forward before. But ESPN added to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical’s report that Gallinari was opting out with the news that “Gallinari’s agent might receive calls from Boston” and five other teams.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Nicoll/USA TODAY Sports Images
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