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.