With the Boston Celtics and their boatload of draft picks and young talent comes the trade rumors. The latest is a blockbuster that involves disgruntled guard James Harden as the Celtics make a late run at the eight-time NBA All-Star. It’s been reported the Celtics are “frantically” trying to deal Kemba Walker and Gordan Hayward in order to acquire Harden.
Gordon Hayward, Celtics agree to extend deadline for opting out
Gordon Hayward originally had to decide on Tuesday at 5 p.m. whether or not he would opt out of the final year of his contract with the Boston Celtics. Hayward is set to make $34 million this year and he and the Celtics agreed to push the deadline back to Thursday at 3 p.m.
Hayward has had a rough go with the Celtics after signing a free-agent max deal in 2017. He suffered a season-ending ankle injury in his first game with the Celtics. By extending the opt-out deadline, both he and the Celtics can buy some more time to assess their options as trade action heats up in the NBA.
Hayward averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds for the Celtics this season. He left the team with another ankle injury that was suffered during the first game of the postseason. He didn’t return until the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Boston Celtics are expected to make a move
The Boston Celtics need to get a return on the bevy of draft picks Danny Ainge has compiled through the years. Boston owns four picks in Wednesday night’s draft, including three in the first round. There just isn’t enough room for the Celtics to add four rookies to their current roster.
Hayward is key in determining what the Celtics do. There have been rumors swirling about Hayward being shipped off to the Indiana Pacers in a deal involving Myles Turner. Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports has said the Atlanta Hawks are also in play for Hayward. Kemba Walker, one year into his four-year deal with the Celtics, has also been mentioned in trade rumors.
With Danny Ainge running the show, nobody is off-limits. Ainge has pulled off some big deals before, collecting tons of draft capital. It doesn’t mean a whole lot, however, if those draft picks can’t somehow be moved prior to Wednesday’s draft.
Celtics reportedly showing interest in James Harden
James Harden has made it perfectly clear he doesn’t want to remain with the Houston Rockets. He also made it clear his destination of choice is the Brooklyn Nets, where he would team up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. While Harden prefers the Nets, the Houston Rockets said they won’t be pressured into making a deal involving Harden.
Heavy’s Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson tweeted that the Celtics have been busy. Using the word ‘frantically,’ Robinson said the Celtics are “trying to flip Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward for picks and young assets that would appeal to Houston” in a deal for Harden.
Celtics fans know all too well about the rumor mill. There’s a lot of pre-draft hype and nothing usually materializes. There are a lot of options for Danny Ainge and the Celtics and we’ll find out soon if it’s all just a bunch of talk.