The Boston Celtics and Gordon Hayward may have agreed to a four-year, $128 million deal, as reported by The Vertical Shams Charania, but getting him officially signed wasn’t quite that simple.
The Celtics actually can’t sign Hayward until they free up the cap space to do so, which is a process that began almost immediately after the deal was announced. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote after the two sides came to the agreement, Boston had to make a series of transactions to clear up the cap space.
Boston would now need a series of transactions to create cap space for Gordon Hayward. The Celtics would have to pull the qualifying offer on Kelly Olynyk, renounce free agents Jonas Jerebko, James Young, Gerald Green and waive the contracts of Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson (or trade). The Celtics would be left with $27.6M in room and likely need to move the contract of Terry Rozier or Marcus Smart. Trading Rozier would have the Celtics short $1M of a max salary a lot.
Even that still didn’t get the job done, and in turn, the Celtics had to make a trade to free up space, which came on Friday morning. Charania reported that Boston had traded shooting guard Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Marcus Morris. The move wound up being a difference of around $3.8 million in cap for the 2017-18 season.
So with the deal in place, what exactly does that mean for the Celtics in terms of signing Hayward? As SB Nation pointed out, the deal would leave Boston $31.5 million under the cap, and Hayward’s contract is for $32 million.
In turn, this winds up pretty much crushing any chances of the Jazz being able to navigate a sign-and-trade for Hayward, which would have at least netted the team something for the small forward. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the two sides discussed a potential sign-and-trade which may have included Jae Crowder.
Obviously, it didn’t work out, and now the Jazz are likely going to lose Hayward for the price of nothing. In turn, the Celtics had to move arguably their second or third-best player from last season to sign Hayward, but it shouldn’t take much else for this deal to officially get done.
Hayward’s decision to go to Boston is looking like it won’t result in the Celtics roster being completely torn apart, which is great news for the Cleveland Cavaliers biggest competition.