Boston trimmed its roster to 14 players last week, along with a pair of two-way deals. One of those two-way players, Jabari Bird, was added to the active roster before tonight’s game against the Bucks. Until G League camps open, Bird’s time with the Celtics won’t count against the 45 days he is permitted to be in the NBA.
“I think we will at least be actively looking for that roster spot, just because, obviously, the standpoint of the youth, but also because you lose one of your better shooters and more versatile players,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “A guy who can put the ball in the basket for you. We’ll see how that works itself out. We haven’t really gotten into it too much because we have our hands full tonight.”
Boston is more than $12MM over the cap and already used its room exception to sign Aron Baynes, so the team can only offer a minimum-salary deal. If Hayward’s injury is determined to be season-ending, the Celtics can apply for an $8.4MM disabled player exception. That money is only usable for free agents, players on waivers or anyone with a single season left on their contract.
Hayward will undergo surgery tonight, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, to fix a dislocated and fractured left tibia. The team hasn’t set a timetable for his return.
Hayward got a huge ovation from Boston fans when a videotaped message from his hospital bed was played before the start of tonight’s game, Forsberg tweeted. “It’s hurting me that I can’t be there,” Hayward told the crowd. “… I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight.” (Twitter link)