NBA Rumors: Gordon Hayward Sign-And-Trade ‘Close’; Jae Crowder Likely Involved

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Gordon Hayward’s move to Boston might be getting a lot more complicated.

One day after Hayward announced he’d signing with the Celtics in free agency, reports surfaced Wednesday that the Utah Jazz would be open to a sign-and-trade with the C’s involving the All-Star forward.

Now, it appears that option is gaining traction — with Jae Crowder as the player Boston would send Utah in return, per Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.

From a basketball perspective, dealing Crowder makes sense for the Celtics, who will be loaded at small forward with Hayward, rookie Jayson Tatum and second-year swingman Jaylen Brown. Then again, Crowder is on a very team-friendly contract — a five-year, $35 million deal set to expire in 2020 — which increases his value on the trade market.

Given that value, it’s possible the C’s could ask for more from the Jazz if they’re parting with Crowder. That means Utah might throw players like Rodney Hood, Dante Exum and even Derrick Favors into the mix to make a trade happen, according to Brian Robb of 98.5 The Sports Hub.

The Celtics have to shed significant cap space to take on Hayward’s reported four-year, $128 million contract, so even if they didn’t complete a sign-and-trade with Utah, they’d have to deal (at least) one player like Crowder to get under the salary cap. Which players or picks are involved in those deals are anyone’s guess, but it appears we’ll find out pretty soon.

Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images

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