Celtics Plan To Fill Roster Spot; Hayward Undergoes Surgery

In the wake of Gordon Hayward‘s horrific injury in Tuesday’s season opener, the Celtics plan to use their roster opening to add another player, relays Chris Forsberg of ESPN.

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)

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10 thoughts on “Celtics Plan To Fill Roster Spot; Hayward Undergoes Surgery

  1. Reflect

    Can you still do the disabled exception if he’s done for the season but back for the playoffs?

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    • justinept

      Yes. If the exception is granted, and Hayward made a miraculous recovery, he would be eligible to play in the regular season, too.

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    • Luke Adams

      justinept beat me to this, but I’ll confirm.

      Here’s the relevant passage from Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ: “If the disabled player comes back sooner than expected he may be activated immediately, and the replacement player is not affected.”

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  2. mcase7187

    If they do get that 8.4M can they add that to another contract to get a player who is making more money than the 8.4

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    • Luke Adams

      Nope. It sort of works like a trade exception — can’t be combined with another salary or exception.

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