The NBA will look much different within the next few years if several superstars change teams in free agency, and the Boston Celtics are among those who could be affected by the shake-up.
Chris Broussard joined FS1’s “Undisputed” on Thursday to discuss what the future holds for Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving — four high-profile players who might land elsewhere when the dust settles.
Broussard wondered aloud whether the Celtics would consider trading Irving, who recently announced his plans to re-sign with Boston upon hitting free agency next summer, and then shifted his focus to another C’s starter: Gordon Hayward.
“If they decide we can’t have all these max (contract) guys or we want to move on from Kyrie, I don’t know that he’s there the whole year,” Broussard said. “Because are you going to trade him before the deadline in February rather than lose him for nothing as a free agent, or do you trade somebody else?
“Like if I were them, maybe you try to trade Gordon Hayward. I think Jayson Tatum is better than Gordon Hayward. Jaylen Brown I think will be if he’s not already … and I think (Al) Horford’s more valuable to the team than Hayward. So to me, Hayward’s expendable. It could be all sorts of upheaval.”
Hayward is in the second year of a max contract he signed last summer but just now is getting up to speed with Boston, as he suffered a gruesome ankle injury last October that ended his 2017-18 season.
Would the Celtics actually consider trading the 28-year-old forward? The organization obviously has high hopes for him in his return to the court, and it’s quite possible he’ll become a valuable piece for Boston in time. But there are questions about Irving’s future, and Tatum and Brown both evolved a lot as players before the end of last season. Plus, C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has been known to make bold moves.
Perhaps we shouldn’t rule out anything — both across the NBA and in Boston.
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