The Boston Celtics landed their man earlier this evening, as Gordon Hayward announced (five hours after it had already leaked) that he would officially be signing with Boston. However, the Celtics don’t have enough cap space at this point to sign Hayward outright, and it’s already been reported that Hayward won’t be taking less than his full maximum salary to accommodate his new team.
This means that Boston will need to shed salary, and Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe is hearing that it will be Jae Crowder whom the Celtics will move to create space and that the Atlanta Hawks could be the destination.
Four-year deal for Hayward. Now it's likely Jae Crowder is on the trade market, Atlanta may be his next destination.— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) July 4, 2017
Crowder is an excellent player on what is perhaps the best value contract in the league (three years remaining on a five-year, $35 million deal), so the Hawks would consider themselves lucky to receive him. Boston couldn’t take back much salary, but perhaps the first-round pick Atlanta will receive as part of the trade with the Nuggets and Clippers will go to Boston. The Hawks also have Minnesota’s lottery-protected first-round pick in next year’s draft (and another from Cleveland in 2019) that could be sent out for the soon-to-be 27-year-old Crowder.
Travis Schlenk should be on the phone immediately with the Celtics to try to nail down a Crowder trade before Boston moves in another direction. He can defend 3s and 4s, space the floor, and makes a third of what he’s worth for the next three years.