Boston Celtics trade rumors have the team pushing hard to deal the No. 3 pick. The Celtics have made trade offers to the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, and Chicago Bulls since the NBA Draft Lottery took place. A report from ESPN.com came out Wednesday morning (June 22), which states that the Celtics were pushing hard to acquire Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz.
Hayward could be an immediate upgrade for the Celtics, but thus far, the team has been rebuffed in any effort to get him from the Jazz. It would appear that Utah has no interest in dealing Hayward at this time, but it could also simply be a negotiating tactic to get a better offer. Hayward is still just 26-years-old and has a team-friendly deal at just over $16 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. This is a reason that the Phoenix Suns have also been calling Utah about working out a possible deal.
During the 2015-16 NBA season, Gordon Hayward started 80 games for the Utah Jazz. He averaged 19.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.2 steals. He plays the small forward and shooting guard positions, giving the Jazz a lot of flexibility on the wing. Hayward does have a player option for the 2017-18 NBA season, meaning he can opt out next year and become an unrestricted free agent. This could mean that he quickly becomes available if the Jazz open the 2016-17 NBA season with any struggles.
There have been a lot of Boston Celtics trade rumors about that first-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The top two selections have been pretty easy to predict, as Ben Simmons of LSU is expected to go to the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 1 pick and then Brandon Ingram of Duke is expected to go to the L.A. Lakers with the No. 2 pick. The Celtics could then draft players like power forward Dragan Bender from Israel, power forward Marquese Chriss from Washington, or point guard Kris Dunn from Providence.
While the top two picks of the NBA Draft are expected to be immediate contributors, the rest of the top prospects could take a while to develop. The Celtics are looking to make short-term improvements in order to compete in the Eastern Conference next season. Overtures have been made to the Chicago Bulls about Jimmy Butler, a big difference-maker who could immediately improve the Celtics, but it appears the Bulls have not been enthralled by the offers being made. Butler was getting shopped by the Bulls, but the front office may have shifted directions.
The 2016 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 23, giving the Boston Celtics a deadline in order to make a deal. A worst-case scenario isn't that bad for the team, as team president Danny Ainge would still be able to add a talented player through the draft if no trade scenarios pan out. Ainge wants the Celtics to immediately be able to compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East and knows that a rookie might not be the answer in any short-term plans. Patience might be needed if the right deal doesn't surface.
The Celtics finished with a 48-34 record last year, securing the team a fifth seed in the NBA Playoffs. They were still eight games back from the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division, meaning some work still needed to be done on the roster. Danny Ainge has the ability to add players through trade and in free agency this offseason, possibly improving the roster quite a bit. If the current Boston Celtics trade rumors don't lead to a deal before draft night, the team could still be very active with the top free agents.
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