The biggest free agency fish in the NBA in 2017 has officially swam to a new home as Gordon Hayward agreed to a four-year, $128 million contract with the Boston Celtics.
Although the Celtics and Danny Ainge have been unable to turn their king’s ransom of trade-able assets into a star through trade these past few seasons, they have acquired a big time free agent the past two years in Al Horford and Gordon Hayward.
Even with the addition of a rare All-Star, borderline All-NBA level wing player in his prime in Hayward, the Celtics still haven’t addressed their biggest need through free agency, the draft or trade: rebounding and rim protection.
According to Yahoo Sports Reporter Chris Mannix, the Celtics may look to fill that gap now by attempting to acquire Grizzlies center Marc Gasol.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) July 5, 2017
Here is an excerpt from Mannix’s piece on The Vertical about Hayward’s signing:
“That probably depends on who is available. The trade market for stars has momentarily dried up. One player worth keeping an eye on, two league executives told The Vertical: Memphis’ Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies lost Zach Randolph, Tony Allen could be next out the door, and if you were filling out your Western Conference playoff bracket today, Memphis probably wouldn’t be in it. Would the Grizz move the 32-year-old Gasol for a ready-made rebuilding package of players and picks? Would Boston – which has to be wary of putting together a team that would beat Cleveland but still get pulverized by Golden State – be interested? Again, worth watching.”
That seems to be little more than pure conjecture at this point, but the trade in theory makes perfect sense for both teams for the right package. If the Celtics are willing to give up a couple 1st round picks and a few young pieces it could launch a rebuild for a Grizzlies team that is capped out and stuck in mediocrity and sorely needs a change of direction.
Hayward to Boston makes the east more interesting and makes the Celtics more of a real contender to dethrone LeBron in the east, but Boston with Hayward and Gasol could be enough to be the favorites in the east.