Celtics-Thunder Trade Idea Would Change Eastern Conference,’ Ex-NBA Execs Believe


Dec 6, 2019

The Boston Celtics will reap rewards by exchanging a valuable chip for Steven Adams.

Former NBA executives Wes Wilcox and Amin Elhassan argued Thursday on Sirius XM NBA Radio the Celtics should consider trading Gordon Hayward in a package for the Oklahoma City Thunder center. Wilcox and Elhassan believe acquiring a center of Adams’ ability would put Boston firmly among the ranks of Eastern Conference favorites, alongside the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.

“If Steven Adams ends up in Boston, I think it would change the landscape and dynamics of the Eastern Conference,” Wilcox said.

“Steven Adams is probably the most gettable, attractive trade pierce on the market,” Elhassan added.

Hayward can enter free agency this summer if he opts out of the final year of his four-year, $128 million contract. Elhassan believes¬† this option will drive up the Thunder’s asking price in any trade for Adams that centers around Hayward.

“I would say ‘no’ from the Oklahoma City side because everything we’ve heard is that their asking price for Steve Adams is so ridiculously high, plus he has two years left on a very affordable (contract) number for a guy with his production,” Elhassen said of a straight-up Adams for Hayward trade proposal. “I can’t see them saying ‘ah, we’ll just trade him for a guy that’s going to opt out and leave in the offseason.’ There has to be a ton of stuff attached to Gordon Hayward for them to consider.”

Adams, 26, is averaging 10.4 points and nine rebounds in 26.4 minutes per game this season. He’s set to earn $25.8 million this season and $27.5 million in 2020-21, after which he can become a free agent.

Hayward, 29, is expected to be out until Christmas due to a broken hand. He was playing well prior to his Nov. 9 injury, averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in eight games.

Although Hayward finally was starting to look like the All-Star caliber player again, his previously uncertain form and contract future have kept his name in trade rumors for months.

With Adams thought to be on the market and the Celtics apparently needing frontcourt help, the aforementioned trade idea probably won’t go away anytime soon.

Thumbnail photo via Alonzo Adams/USA TODAY Sports Images
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