Celtics Rumors: Latest Buzz on Gordon Hayward Sign-and-Trade, Jeff Teague

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2020

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) handles the ball during the first half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

After another disappointing playoff exit, the Boston Celtics are a busy franchise in the early stages of free agency.

Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart will return in 2020-21, but the Celtics are otherwise reshaping the roster. The flurry of moves is largely because Gordon Hayward unexpectedly opted out of his contract.

So far, agents have confirmed Boston has added former Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Reserve guard Brad Wanamaker is leaving for the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

And while Hayward is headed to the Charlotte Hornets on a four-year, $120 million deal, per Wojnarowski, there is a chance Boston will be involved in that signing.

Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported the Celtics and Hornets are still discussing a sign-and-trade possibility.

The exact details are unclear.

Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer noted the Hornets could send back Nicolas Batum to avoid stretching his salary. If they released him as planned, Batum would count $9 million against the salary cap during each of the next three seasons. Trading him, however, shifts that responsibility to a different team.

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Yet it's unlikely the Celtics want to pay Batum or have a stretched $9 million salary for three years.

Boston and Charlotte may be seeking a third team to absorb Batum's contract into cap space and acquire some other asset. In theory, that would free Charlotte to add Hayward, while the Celtics would take on a cheaper expiring deal than Batum's.

One way or another, Hayward should be going to Charlotte. But the process to finalize his signing may take several steps.

What shouldn't be so complicated, though, is the Celtics bringing in Jeff Teague as a backup point guard.

Todd Kirkland/Associated Press

According to Himmelsbach, Teague has agreed to a one-year contract. While the exact value is unknown, the team's current cap situation means Teague will be paid either the veteran's minimum or an amount up to the bi-annual exception of $3.6 million.

Teague is best known for his seven-year stint on the Atlanta Hawks from the 2009-10 campaign to 2015-16. He'd also played for the Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves before returning to Atlanta via trade last season.

And he's an ideal reserve in Boston.

Wanamaker averaged 19.3 minutes off the bench in 2019-20 but is headed to Golden State. Teague, who has played no fewer than 24.8 minutes per game during the last nine seasons, will seamlessly slide into the rotation behind Walker.

Teague will be a reliable backup ball-handler who can occupy a starting role if necessary. At his inexpensive price, that's a huge luxury for a championship hopeful.

             

Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.