For the second year in a row July 4th was a huge day for the Celtics and this year it's ending with happiness as the Celtics got their man! Gordon Hayward will be suiting up for the Celtics this season? IT will no longer have to carry the sole offensive burden, however with the current setup of the team something needs to change. The Celtics currently have Hayward, Crowder, Brown, Tatum and Ojeleye as small forwards and while all will see some time at power forward there simply isn't enough time to get all of these guys minutes.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown put on a dominating performance in the summer league game 1 and they both look like the future of this team. Brown went 10-16 from the field and Tatum hit the game winner as the Celtics beat the 76er's 89-88.
In the end, Jae Crowder has not only become expendable but a detriment to the team. Crowder is one of my favorite Celtics because of his never die attitude and the effort level that he brings but right now the Celtics need those minutes to develop the kids. The Celtics may have gotten Hayward who solves a major scoring hole for them but they still have a major rebounding problem. The Celtics need to find a solution to this problem and while it looks like Ante Zizic could be a huge help, as he grabbed 9 boards in the first summer league game, he is still a young kid with no NBA experience. The Celtics have the assets and will need to trade one or two players to have the cap space work out for Hayward'd deal.
In my opinion the Celtics need to trade Jae and keep Smart/ Bradley. Crowder is a great asset on a great contract who can bring back a good to very good rebounder depending on what is packaged along with him. The other catch is the Celtics need to free up $1.6 million for Hayward so they would need either a young player on a cheap contract or a veteran. Lets look at some options for who could be possibilities.
Bobby Portis- 2 years ago Portis was one of my favorite players in his class and 2 years later I love how his game has developed. Portis has become a force on the boards and has improved to now shoot an improved 33% from the three point line. Portis also is controllable for the next 2 years and with tons of room to grow, Portis has a chance to grow into an elite rebounder.
Willie Cauley Stein - Stein is another option for the Celtics and is another young asset however, he only has one year left on his deal but he should be easily available especially after the signing of Zach Randolph. Stein is someone who I originally thought the Celtics could look at trading for before the dead line. Stein is a great rebounder and he currently is blocking almost 2 shots pregame per 36 minutes. Stein would provide the rebounding and rim protection that the Celtics need.
Kyle O'Quinn - O'Quinn is probably the best rebounder on this list and as he is only due 4 million this year, he could be a great addition to the team. Trading crowder for him would relieve all of our cap problems and give us a great rebounder. O'Quinn rebounds on the defensive end at a 24.8% clip. However, he pretty much has no ability to shoot the 3 and may not fit well or at all in the Celtics offense.
Caleb Swanigan - Swanigan was drafted by the Trail Blazers who now have a surplus at the Center / PF as they drafted both Swanigan and Collins. Crowder would be a great addition to the Trail Blazers as he would be a massive upgrade over both Crabbe and Turner. Swanigan is a great option for the Celtics as he would add to the young core the Celtics are building and he was an amazing rebounder in college. Swanigan is an efficient three point shooter and a great rebounder whose effort levels will allow for him to be an enigizer at the next level. I think that Swanigan could grow into Zach Randolph/ Al Jefferson at the next level.