Celtics Notes: Tatum, Buyout Market, Hayward, KG

Prior to Thursday night’s game against the Celtics, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers raved about Jayson Tatum, suggesting that the young forward is already “one of the better players in the league,” adding that it will be “amazing” to see where he ends up after a few more years of development, per Darren Hartewell of NBC Sports Boston.

Although Rivers joked before the game that he didn’t need to see “any more growth” out of Tatum on Thursday, the 21-year-old gave the Clippers fits, turning in arguably the best performance of his career in a double-overtime win. He went off for a game-high 39 points on 14-of-23 shooting and made a handful of plays on both ends of the floor that helped clinch the win.

“He was incredible,” Kemba Walker said of his All-Star teammate, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “He made every right play. He made every big shot. He was the best player on the court tonight.”

Tatum won’t be among the starters in Sunday’s All-Star game like Walker will, but the former No. 3 overall pick has emerged as the Celtics’ best all-around player this season, Forsberg argues. Tatum’s ascent is well-timed, as he’ll be extension-eligible for the first time during the 2020 offseason. Barring a major slump or injury in the second half, it’s hard to see how his next contract won’t be worth the maximum salary.

Here’s more out of Boston:

  • Appearing this week on radio show Toucher & Rich, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said there’s nothing on the buyout market that interests the team for the time being, per Forsberg (Twitter link). That includes free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas — Ainge praised the former Celtic, but suggested the fit may not be right with Boston’s current roster, as Forsberg relays.
  • Whether or not Gordon Hayward picks up his 2020/21 player option this spring, the Celtics are “very interested” in retaining the veteran forward long-term, a league source confirmed to Brian Robb of Boston Sports Journal. Hayward isn’t necessarily a lock to exercise his $34MM option, since he could command a larger overall payday on a longer-term contract.
  • The Celtics announced on Thursday that they intend to retire Kevin Garnett‘s No. 5 jersey at some point next season, as Taylor Snow details at Celtics.com.
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20 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: Tatum, Buyout Market, Hayward, KG

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Who’s gonna pay Hayward more. No team is that stupid. Celts are idiots if they keep him. Should have been moved at deadline. He’s at best a 6th man on this team. Maybe at 15 mill a yr. Celts really miss Horford. Aldridge would have fit nice this team. That’s the kind of big they need. A lot more than what Hayward can give.

    • Jeff Zanghi

      You obviously havent been watching the Celtics if you don’t think there would be a market for Hayward on a long term deal this off-season. For one thing the FA class this year is incredibly weak so he’d be one of the top player available. Secondly he’s been playing like his “old self” (or very close to it) yeah he may only be averaging 16.5 PPG but that’s mostly because Tatum, Brown and Walker are all averaging 20+ If Hayward needed to score more he definitely looks like he could! A team may not be willing to give him $34M/year but he could definitely find a deal for multiple years worth well over $34M total — and again given how awful this year’s FA crop is — it’s actually more than possible a team with cap space would be willing to give him a max/close to it – just because there’s no one better out there for them to sign. I’m not saying he’s worth a max deal or $34M/year but he could obviously get a solid multi-year contract worth well over $34M if he were to opt-out and test the FA market. Having said all that it might be in his best interest to opt-in and prove for another year he’s back to being the Gordon Hayward he was before the injury (or close to it) and then try his luck next year — but either way he’s definitely going to generate plenty of interest around the league for a multi-year contract well in excess of $34M

      • thatsright

        Agree he could get much more than $34M over a longer deal, and his best move is likely to get the $34M and then ALSO get a nice deal the year after.

  2. Spike4christ

    Wings like Hayward don’t grow on Trees. He showed his value last night in the Second OT. He will have to take a little less if he wants to stay in Boston. Boston can go over the cap to sign and there are not to many teams with Cap Space.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      yes his AAV might need to come down, but shouldn’t be hard to see him getting 3/4 yr offers close to 80-100M range.

      He hasn’t quite reached peak form pre-injury but if he does, then that’s a different story.

  3. So is a 4 year contract for $45 million dollars better than 1 year 34 million and test FA next year?

    I don’t see Hayward commanding over 15m a year with his age and injury history

    • Jeff Zanghi

      He will definitely be able to get more than 3/$45M… that’s just a laughably low amount. I mean come on Marcus Morris got 1/$18M and he’s no where near the level of player Hayward is regardless of what his “garbage game stats” in NY say — Hayward is the far superior player.

  4. Jeff Zanghi

    I’m kind of disappointed that Ainge has 0 interest in bringing Thomas back. I’ll be the first to admit he probably isn’t the idea fit for the club BUT they desperately need bench scoring options and I think Thomas would provide that — he can definitely score better than Wanamaker, Ojele and Javante Green… maybe someone better/better fit will come along in the next few weeks in the buyout market — but I have to say if they don’t… ruling out IT seems premature seeing as he’s a clear “score-first” type player — and right now that seems to be one of the things their bench is lacking is play-making/scoring ability. I get that ideally a 4/5 would be a better fit roster wise. But if that doesn’t become available, I think they need to address their bench scoring no matter what and IT seems like someone who could do just that.

  5. Skip, Tampa

    Miami Heat were the runner up in the Hayward bidding last time. Can see them in 1st place in July. Anyone who thinks Hayward can’t get $20-$25M on a 3 or even 4 year deal is hitting the pipe to hard.
    Bet Pat Riley would give him a 4/$100M ($27M available) in a heartbeat.
    If Anige blinks, Riley will pounce and never look back.

  6. Hayward’s actually been surprisingly good.
    Check the numbers
    He averages 17/7/4 on a team where he is the 4th option on offence. He’s almost shooting a rare 50:40:90 (50/39/88), he’s recording a career high in rebounds too.
    He’s only 29 and is returning back to his all star level pre injury and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone made a play at him now.

    As he is born and raised in Indy, including high school and college, I’d love to see him on the Pacers with Brogdan, Oladipo and Sabonis.

    Maybe sign and trade him for Myles Turner and TJ Leaf, cause the Celtics need a big.

    • Turner on the Celtics would be nice too. He’s got a 3 point shot and has good defence

  7. phillyballers

    If they dealt Hayward it would be to the West. No contender is giving them pieces in the East. OKC could be a landing spot. Adam’s + a small contract.

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