Boston, post-Hayward, represents the other side of the …

Boston, post-Hayward, represents the other side of the Bird rights trap. Its roster is a bit like a deflated balloon right now. The Celtics used their MLE on a big man, just like they would have anyway, and another small exception on a guard, and as a result are more or less the exact same team they would have been … except without Hayward. They can’t replace him as an over-the-cap team. It’s possible for Boston to pull off a late, dramatic save by generating a massive $30 million (or so) trade exception in a sign-and-trade with Charlotte, but even that will prove costly. The Celtics need to pony up an asset to include in the trade with Charlotte and then, almost certainly, another asset to bring a player into the exception. At a minimum, replacing Hayward in their salary structure will cost them two draft picks.
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