After much fanfare and a false start, the Celtics were finally able to land their white whale in free agency on Tuesday when Gordon Hayward announced via the Players’ Tribune that he’s signing with Boston. But his reported four-year, $128 million max deal has created a salary cap crunch for the organization that will necessitate them parting ways with one or more of their key role players.
The Celtics began clearing the way by renouncing Kelly Olynyk, sending him into unrestricted free agency, and have a number of others they can renounce — like Jonas Jerebko and Gerald Green — to begin closing in on the number needed. However, no matter how much salary cap gymnastics they try to do with renouncing cap holds and releasing non-guaranteed deals, they will fall short of the max, meaning a trade has to happen.
According to a new report from Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, the front office has been “aggressively” exploring trade scenarios for Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and Jae Crowder, the team’s three most modestly priced role players.