The Boston Celtics may not sign Gordon Hayward after all.
Boston and the Utah Jazz are considering a sign-and-trade, which would send Hayward to the Celtics and Jae Crowder to Utah, as first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski later confirmed the move might be in the works. The transaction "would be cap beneficial for Boston," Wojnarowski writes.
Hayward announced on The Players' Tribune Tuesday he intended to sign with the Celtics. He explained in great detail why he intended to leave Utah and join forces with his former college coach in Brad Stevens. The Celtics and Hayward agreed to a four-year, $128 million contract, according to The Vertical. In all likelihood, that deal would stay in place in the sign-and-trade. However, the Celtics would be able to move on from Crowder's five-year, $35 million deal.
A move, like the trading of Crowder, is a necessity for the Celtics to clear cap space for Hayward. Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley may also be in play.
“Boston has to unload one of those three,” a league source texted CSNNE.com on Wednesday. “And to be candid, it really doesn’t matter which one. All three of them, no matter where they end up, will help a team.”
Hayward, an NBA All-Star and former No. 10 overall pick, averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 34.5 minutes during the 2016-17 season. He also shot 47.1 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from the behind the arc.