After losing Gordon Hayward, the Boston Celtics could be looking for a small forward via trade or free agency market. An NBA analyst suggests Corey Brewer of the Los Angeles Lakers could be the “perfect target” for the Celtics.
The 2017-18 NBA season opener can’t get any worse for the Celtics after Gordon Hayward suffered a terrifying injury. As of now, Boston is continuing to evaluate Hayward’s condition and hasn’t given any timetable for his recovery yet. However, it’s highly likely that the 27-year-old small forward will miss the rest of the season.
Without one of their “Big Three,” the Celtics’ chance of dominating the Eastern Conference became a big question mark. Jaylen Brown, who posted 25 points, six rebounds, and two steals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, is expected to fill up the spot left by Hayward. However, the Celtics could still be planning to add a veteran small forward on their team.
According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Celtics are eligible to apply for Disable Player Exception based on Hayward’s injury. The exception worth $8.4 million can be used to sign, claim, or trade for a player that has one year left on his contract.
According to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, the Celtics could look for a small forward in the free agency or trade market. However, most of the quality free agents already signed with another team or chose to play overseas. This would force Boston to take the trade route.
Kennedy listed five potential trade targets for the Celtics, including Jared Dudley, Corey Brewer, Wesley Johnson, Courtney Lee, and Kyle Anderson. Of all the five forwards, Kennedy believes Brewer is the “perfect target” for the Celtics.
“The 31-year-old could be the perfect target for Boston. His $7,579,366 salary fits into the exception, he’s in the final year of his contract and he could be obtainable once the Los Angeles Lakers realize that making the playoffs this year was a pipe dream all along.”
Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson will surely entertain the idea of moving Corey Brewer like what they did to Lou Williams last season. Instead of losing him for nothing in next year’s free agency, the Lakers could acquire future draft picks for the veteran small forward.
Brewer may not be as good as Hayward, but he can provide a veteran presence in Boston while Jaylen Brown continues to improve his skills. So far, there is no official confirmation if Boston is really looking for Hayward’s temporary replacement. However, if they struggle in the succeeding games, expect Celtics general manager Danny Ainge to make a move.
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