NBA Free Agency has just gotten underway, and the start of the 2020-21 season is a month from starting, there already some major changes coming to the Boston Celtics roster, which means the C's will have some new faces when they tip-off the season.
The timeline of events that have happened for the Celtics, has been weeks of rumors and now all the dominos have fallen all at once. Prior to all the offseason events unfolding, there were rumors that the Celtics were trying to shop Gordon Hayward. Those rumors were alive and well prior to the league shutdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The dominos started to fall drastically on Thursday Night when the breaking news hit that Gordon Hayward was opting out of his contract with the Celtics to become an unrestricted free agent. Hayward signed a max contract with the Celtics in the summer of 2017, at the tine joined forces with Kyrie Irving in the hopes to bring a championship back to the Celtics.
Fast forward three years, Irving is now with Brooklyn Nets, Al Horford has been traded from the 76ers, and now Hayward was a free agent. It was being reported all day Friday, that the Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge was working out a sign and trade with the Indiana Pacers, a deal that would've sent Hayward to the Pacers while the Celtics would receive a package pf players. The deal ultimately fell through as the Pacers were not committed to giving Hayward nearly 40 million dollars.
Also on Friday the Celtics announced two separate moves. The Celtics traded big man Enes Kantar to the Portland Trail Blazers in a three-team deal that included the Memphis Grizzlies. According to ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski the Celtics got a future Memphis draft pick consideration. Also, the Celtics signed star Jayson Tatum to a max contract, that is expected to kick in for the 2021-22 season. But good news, Celtic fans, Jayson Tatum isn't going anywhere any time soon.
On Saturday, the Celtics officially lost Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets as Hayward agreed to a four-year $120 million deal Charlotte. Rather than the Celtics trying to get some assets for Hayward, the Celtics lose him and get absolutely nothing for him, except for some cap relief for the Celtics to use on other players that will fit the teams needs.
On Saturday evening, it was being reported that the Celtics reached an agreement with former Cleveland Cavalier Tristan Thompson. According to Thompson's agent the deal is for two-years with a total value at $19 million. So already the Celtics have replace Kanter, as they land a big man in Thompson who will play a big role offensively and defensively for the Celtics. During the C's Conference Finals matchup against the Miami Heat, the Celtics's had difficulties getting second chance opportunities and getting rebounds, which led to the Heat upsetting the Celtics to get to the NBA Finals.
Still plenty fo work for the Celtics to do before they open up their season on either December 22nd or the 23rd. Their opponent is still undetermined, the only thing we know is that the Celtics will play against Eastern Conference opponents only for the first 42 games of the season.
The NBA schedule is set to split into two halves, the first half will consist of a conference based schedule only, following the All-Star Break, the second half of the season will be all intra-conference games as all Eastern and Western Conference team will play each other twice to wrap up the season, and then the playoffs. The league's goal is to finish their season before the start of the summer Olympics as there are numerous NBA stars that do part-take in the summer games every four years.
There will still be more Celtic news to come in the coming days, but one thing is certain, the Celtics will look different when they do hit the floor again.