The Boston Celtics are trying to go big this offseason and it appears we now know their plan. The team wants to acquire both Gordon Hayward and Paul George, and do so in that order for salary cap purposes. Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the Celtics want the Indiana Pacers to be patient while they work through signing Hayward as a free agent. That could be an issue though.
For Boston, here’s the hitch: While Indiana believes Boston can offer the best possible package, the Pacers may be unwilling to wait until the start of July free agency on Boston’s timetable and could turn toward making a deal elsewhere for George, league sources told The Vertical.
Boston has maneuvering to do with its roster, including the shedding of salaries to create space to position itself for this scenario. Boston has contingencies in place to make deals and start a possible Hayward-George scenario toward fruition, league sources told The Vertical.
Seems like a tricky situation for Celtics general manager Danny Ainge to be in, but he has to feel good about his chances with Hayward. The 27-year-old forward played under Celtics head coach Brad Stevens at Butler and has long been linked to Boston.
Additionally, the Celtics are increasingly confident they could sign George to a contract extension if they acquire him.
Hayward and George are both outstanding two-way players and acquiring them would likely make Boston the favorite in the Eastern Conference. When combined with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Al Horford those two All-Stars would give the Celtics one heck of a roster.
Now all Ainge and company have to do is pull this off.