Celtics To Prioritize Gordon Hayward In Free Agency

The Celtics have the assets to pull off a trade for a star this summer, though the team is focusing its attention on the free agent market with the hopes landing Gordon Hayward, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (video link). Wojnarowski notes that Boston could have a better idea of where it stands with Hayward leading up to the draft.

Hayward didn’t make an All-NBA team, which means he won’t be eligible for the new designated player extension. That marginalizes the advantage that the Jazz have in re-signing the 27-year-old and it could open the door for another team to pry him from Utah. Celtics coach Brad Stevens recruited and coached Hayward at Butler University prior to making the jump to the professional ranks.

Boston has just under $62MM in guaranteed salary on the books next season against a projected $101MM salary cap. However, that total doesn’t include a $7MM+ cap hold for the No. 1 overall pick or a $7.7MM+ cap hold for restricted free agent Kelly Olynyk, so the team may have to get creative to open up space for a maximum salary contract.

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38 thoughts on “Celtics To Prioritize Gordon Hayward In Free Agency

    • willham

      Imagine if he were getting those open 3 looks that Crowders been getting all playoffs.. him IT Fultz/Bradley and Horford would be scary

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        • Fuggingoons
          Fuggingoons

          At 5 mil per year you don’t trade Crowder!
          Isaiah-Bradley-Horford-Crowder-Gordon

          Gordon replaces Amir

          Millsap is possible too instead of Gordon

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  1. mcase7187

    If they get him then try and trade for Andre Drummond he can be that rebounder we a desperately seeking right now

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    • willham

      Drummond would cost so much cap space and trade chips for a rebounder thats a free throw liability at the end of games. They have a really good 1st round pick from last year coming over from Europe that should make a big impact on the boards and not cost you nearly as much.

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  2. Dionis

    I really dont understand what this team is doing. Im all for Hayward signing in Boston because he compliments Thomas and Horford perfectly. But when you add on Fultz as well that kind of kills everything, then what happens with Jaylen? They need to clean up the mess of guards and forwards. I wouldnt get rid of Bradley, bring in Blake and Hayward and now you cooking

    Thomas-Bradley-Hayward-Griffin-Horford

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Or trade next year’s nets pick for Drummond and clear some salary.

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      • willham

        That might be one of the dumbest ideas i’ve read on the internet

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    • mcase7187

      If I’m the C’s I won’t no part of Griffin he’s injury prone and has a bad attitude and in my opinion highly overrated but that’s me

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    • calihoops1

      All championship teams go at least 8-10 deep. Jaylen is great off the bench right now, and he can still get starter minutes. Draft fultz, sign Hayward.

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  3. Z-A

    All the PG13, Jimmy Bulter, Melo talk for trades…. Would make more sense for them to trade for a Myles Turner. They need a Center. Next year’s draft has 2 at the top though.

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    • willham

      Just keep that pick and grow your own big 3 with him and Jaylen Brown/Fultz. Let them devlop behind IT, Horford, and Hayward (hopefully).

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  4. Supercollider

    Lots of moving parts to Celtics’ off-season.
    Starts with drafting Fultz.
    Includes run at free agent Hayward and possible trades for Butler and/or George.
    Also includes off-loading some excess in the backcourt for better bigs than they now have.
    Plus, checking out Zizic and Yabusele in the summer leagues.

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  5. dust44

    Gordon Hayward is the guy they need. He can shoot it. Can get his own shot. Has the length and plays D. And more importantly knows Stevens system. Fits perfectly with Horford and Thomas. And u can play small ball with horford at c and crowder with his strength moves in the 4 spot. If they get fultz at #1 they r easily the 2nd best team in the east with a change to challenge the cavs better

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    • Dionis

      If they get Hayward with Bradley Thomas and Horford thats a challenge for the Cavs. That kid Fultz needs his own team

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      • willham

        Na you work Fultz in and hope he can start as the 2nd guard in the next couple of years

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  6. KCelts

    If Hayward signs on, Crowder would likely shift to the 4. I don’t think Crowder has had the postseason fans would have hoped for (I think that’s more a testament to how good he was in the regular season), but he isn’t going to instantly be moved. Crowder has started at the 4 several times this postseason when the team has started Gerald Green. Hayward and Crowder can coexist with one another.

    Here’s what I would predict next year:

    PG: Thomas
    SG: Bradley
    SF: Hayward
    PF: Crowder
    C: Horford

    You, unfortunately, move Horford back to the 5, but it’s worth it to get someone like Hayward, who was flirting with the All-NBA teams this year.

    Then you have a bench of (in no particular order):

    6: Smart
    7: Brown
    8: Fultz
    9: Zizic
    10: Yabusele
    11: Rozier
    12: Mickey
    13: Jackson

    You may have room to bring Olynyk back if you match an offer for him too and he is a key bench piece himself. Celtics would still have room to add a 15th player too either via draft or via the mid-level exception.

    Regardless of what happens with Hayward, this team is becoming extremely deep and extremely talented. I’m still in playoff mode, but it is fun to get a glimpse of the offseason too after landing the number 1 overall pick.

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    • willham

      They won’t have enough money to bring Olynyk money back (some shitty team with a lot of cap space is gonna give him a big offer sheet that he’s not worth) and also sign Hayward. And if they do sign him, Crowder would best be moved to the bench since Zizic is coming over next year and hopefully plays the 5. I agree though, either him or Jaylen would be good in those small ball lineups with Horford at the 5.

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      • KCelts

        Zizic may not start right away though. I think at least for a while Horford will play the 5 with Crowder at the 4. Signing Hayward is a long shot anyways, but there is so much the Celtics could do if they sign him.

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  7. formerlyz

    I don’t think either team would do this, and i havent looked at the Celtics cap to see if it’s possible, but I’m curious to see what people might think. If they have a good idea they can sign Gordon Heyward if they make a big move, like almost guaranteed, I’m curious who’d say no first.

    Crowder, Jaylen Brown, Tyler Zeller, Jordan Mickey, 2017 #1 pick, 2018 Nets pick, 2019 Celtics 1st round pick, 2017 Minnesota 2nd round pick for Anthony Davis and 2019 2nd round pick

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    • formerlyz

      …accidentally posted before continuing lol

      The Celtics would obviously still have Nader, Yabusele, and Zizic coming over, and could use bird rights to keep Bradley and Smart if they want, and if they’re willing to pay luxury tax. They’d also still have their other draft picks. So obviously a win for them in that scenario.

      If New Orleans can keep Jrue Holiday, they’d still be in better position than they were this year, even though they’d unfortunately have to move a potential all time great like Anthony Davis. This would be the best roster Demarcus Cousins would have had around him as well, so they should theoretically compete for the playoffs. Holliday, Moore, Crowder, Solomon Hill, Cousins with Frazier, Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz, Cunnigham, Diallo, Crawford, Cook, Asik. That also gives them some cap space when they cut Zeller plus the early 2nd round picks this year. And then they could hope to land Michael Porter in next year’s draft. All of the sudden, they look better than they have in a long time, assuming they can keep Holliday and Cousins in that scenario

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      • Grant

        Davis is really great but that is way too much for him. That is 4 first rd picks, a starting wing, 2 second rd picks and zeller. That trade would make Billy King proud. Also how would they go for Porter Jr if they give up the 2018 nets pick

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        • formerlyz

          New orleans would go for him with the pick, obviously…and it’s not too much for an all time great, at his age, with 4 years left on his contract. As others mentioned, players like him don’t get traded. He’s a top 3-4 player in the NBA right now.

          Also, I’m not sure you read it right. It’s 3 1st rounders, a good young player (jaylen Brown), a starting wing in a great contract, and 1 2nd round pick. Zeller is to match salaries and would likely have his non guaranteed salary waived for cap space.

          The Celtics would still have a lot of assets, btw, as I outlined. I did say I don’t think either team would do it, but I personally think the Celtics would if they knew they were also getting Gordon Heyward 100%

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  8. celtics80

    Sign Hayward keep Fultz. We have Zizic and Yabuesele coming back from overseas so our rebounding is solved. We need scoring off the bench and consistency.

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  9. Nobody’s trading Anthony Davis or any player of that caliber at that age. The elite players that are made available are few, and its based on their contract situations relative to their current team’s situation. In the NBA, elite players who aren’t being made available don’t just get traded because a team offers a lot of assets for the guy. There are always a few elite guys available for trade, but Davis won’t be one of them.

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    • formerlyz

      As I said, I don’t think either team would do it, but the point remains that they haven’t done anything with AD, and it looks like it would be awhile before they do.

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        • formerlyz

          I disagree. James Harden is overrated. DeMar Derozan is overrated. Hassan Whiteside is overrated. Anthony Davis is a legit top 3-5 player in the NBA right now

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  10. Gordon Haywood? OK, good little player but … the Cs need to build there team for 3-4 years out when LeBron/G. State start slowing down – none of the proposed line ups mentioned above can top either the Cavs or Warriors in their present form. And, the Cs ARE NOT going to win a championship with IT as the starting point guard, love the guy, fun as hell to watch sometimes but NO CHANCE IT can get them past the Cavs/Warriors in a 7 game series… With that said, having IT and Horford will make the Cs an interesting and fun team to watch while they continue to build for their 18th banner in 20020-2012! In that season, Brown and Fultz’s talents should be taking over games. Hey if you guys are right about Zizic, all the Cs need to do is hopefully land a big rook with next year’s Nets lottery pick and we’ll be ready for the ROARING TWENTIES!
    PG: Rozier – IT
    SG: Fultz – Smart
    PF: Brown – Yabuesele
    SF: Haywood – Horford
    C: Zizic – Nets 18 pick

    and two out of Bradley, Crowder, Olynk…
    which leaves us plenty of rom for the immortal …. JONAS JEREBKO!

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