The Celtics ended up drafting Jaylen Brown with their highest draft picks and were very pleased with how he played during Summer League. In free agency, the Celtics netted former Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford. But even with two new parts in the puzzle, league sources continue to label the Celtics as being one of the most aggressive teams in trying to consummate a trade. While some of the names said to be available are not nearly as sexy as say Butler or Middleton, the Celtics continue to look for deals.
There is a sense the Celtics would love to pry away Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, who has a player option next year, which few in the NBA believe he’ll exercise meaning he’ll likely be an unrestricted free agent. There were rumors around the draft that Hayward would welcome a trade, but Jazz sources downplayed any reported unhappiness. Still, there is a real risk that Hayward could walk next July.
Jazz sources said it’s highly unlikely the team even considers a trade for Hayward, but that won’t stop the Celtics from checking the temperature there as teams head into the new NBA season in late September.
Word out of Boston is that the Celtics will not give up much for the 6-foot-11, 257-pounder. They have concerns about his playing in the city after being involved in two street fights there in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning. Nor do they like the fact that the center saw a gun pointed at his head in Old City and that he was stopped for going 108 mph over the Ben Franklin Bridge.
So the Celtics probably won’t offer anyone or anything the Sixers would perceive as equal value for Okafor. At least they won’t at this time. Acquiring Okafor is not a high priority for Boston at the moment. No one is doubting that they like him. However, they’re just not prepared to give up a lot to get him.
The team has held off on signing Tarik Black, Marcelo Huertas and second-overall pick Brandon Ingram, keeping an eye on what could be $13.6 million in cap room (assuming the team also waives and stretched Nick Young). The Lakers do have an unnamed trade target in mind, but are also preserving space for another opportunistic Calderon-like deal.