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Boston Celtics Trade Talk: Shedding Cap A Tough Choice

Boston Celtics Trade Talk: Shedding Cap To Sign Hayward A Tough Choice For Danny Ainge

The Boston Celtics need to shed cap space in order to sign free agent forward Gordon Hayward and here is the reason why.

The first move by Ainge was to renounced Kelly Olynyk’s rights as a restricted free agent. But this move was the first of many to come. The issue is even if Boston renounces the rights to Jonas Jerebko, James Young (already did), and Gerald Green while waving Jordan Mickey, and leaving Guerschon Yabusele in Europe for another season and trading Demetrius Jackon’s partial guarantee and Terry Rozier. They would still be $300,000 short of being able to sign Hayward to his max $29,44,533.

It is for these reasons that they are forced to shed some cap space in a bigger chunk. There are three main options for Ainge to trade off. Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart.

Crowder is a small forward who will be fighting for playing time with Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. Of course, you could start him and Hayward at the 3 and 4 to play small ball. But it is unclear if Brad Stevens or the team wants to do that. Crowder could also come off the bench, but it is also unclear if he would be willing to do that.

Trading Crowder seems to make the most sense at the moment. He is owed $6,796,117 this year, $7,305,825 next year and $7,813,533 in 2019-20. That is an extremely team friendly contract that many teams would be interested in. It is probably that reason that Ainge is reluctant to move Crowder.

Bradley is a guard who looks to start at the 2 guard in the final year of his contract. Bradley is owed $8,808,898 and is extension eligible after this season. But one can theorize his price tag after this season will be beyond the Celtics price range with Isaiah Thomas and Smart needing to be resigned after this season.

Smart is in the final year of his rookie contract, at $4,538,020, and also is eligible for an extension. Smart is 23-years-old and has yet to reach his potential. That potential is up for debate with many not agreeing on what he will become. But one can imagine he will continue to be a hard-nosed guard, the question with him is if he will develop to be a more consistent offensive player.

The Celtics’ payroll could soar to $150 million next summer if the C’s bring back Smart, Bradley, and Thomas. That could carry a luxury tax bill of more than $70 million.For that reason trading Crowder seems to make sense, but if the Celtics want to lower that cap hit next year, it likely means moving on from Bradley who will get paid very well.

Only time will tell who the Celtics want to move on from. For now, it looks like they are looking at all options.

Boston Celtics Trade Talk: Shedding Cap A Tough Choice
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