The Boston Celtics won the Gordon Hayward free agency sweepstakes. Hayward has officially signed a four-year max contract with the Celtics worth $128 million. What are the five biggest questions we have in regard to the new look Celtics?
Boston, home to 17 NBA championships, is one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. Today, the Celtics were officially put back on the map. The Boston Celtics landed the biggest fish on the free-agent market in the form of Gordon Hayward. After winning 53 games and the number one seed in the East a year ago, Boston has catapulted itself into championship contention. Despite a strong push from the Jazz and Heat, the Celtics came away winners in order to land Gordon Hayward. What are the 5 biggest questions that remain in regards to Hayward and the Celtics?
Despite a strong push from the Jazz and Heat, the Celtics came away winners in order to land Gordon Hayward. Pundits originally questioned the fact that Boston failed to land Paul George or Jimmy Butler in a trade. The fact of the matter is, Gordon Hayward was their top priority this summer and couldn’t execute a trade for another player to preserve cap space for the Hayward signing. With Hayward now in the fold, the C’s can now tinker their roster and work to continue to improve. What are the 5 biggest questions that remain in regards to Hayward and the Celtics?
5. Renounce Kelly Olynyk, can they find a way to keep him?
Unfortunately for the Celtics, I’ve done the math and Kelly Olynyk has to go. Signing Hayward into max cap space (along with releasing Jordan Mickey and or Demetrius Jackson) forces the Celtics to renounce their bird rights on Kelly Olynyk. Prior to the Hayward deal, Olynyk held a cap hold of $7.36 million as a restricted free agent. That number is no longer attainable in order to fit Hayward into cap space.
The good news for Celtics fans is that doesn’t mean the team is done adding to the roster. Olynyk could conceivably return to the Celtics if he is willing to take the Non-taxpayer Mid-Level Exception. The MLE would be worth $8.4 million for one year. However, Olynyk, 26, would likely be looking for a long-term deal which is unattainable from Boston.
Along with Olynyk, Jonas Jerebko, Jordan Mickey, and the James Young cap holds will all need to be removed to make the math work. That seems easy enough for Boston after adding a superstar like Gordon Hayward. Filling out the rest of the roster is now the challenge for Celtics.