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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Recapping the Celtics’ free agency moves

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Jayson Tatum and the Celtics reached an agreement on a 5-year $195 million dollar contract extension

NBA free agency kicked off on Nov. 20 and as expected, the Celtics were one of the main topics of conversation.

Before free agency started, the Celtics had a huge question they needed answered: what to do with Gordon Hayward. 

In the end, Hayward declined his $34 million dollar player option with the Celtics and decided to become an unrestricted free agent. 

Reports swirled throughout the NBA that Hayward wanted to play for his hometown team, the Indiana Pacers, but the only way they could acquire him was if he signed back with the Celtics and was traded to Indiana due to their lack of cap space.

When it seemed like a deal between Boston and Indiana was imminent, Hayward reportedly agreed to a four-year $120 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets. It’s still possible that Boston could receive some compensation back, as Charlotte needs to create more cap space to make the signing official. Any compensation Boston would get would most likely be a trade exception, which would allow them more financial flexibility in order to potentially acquire another player.

Boston helped Charlotte out last year in a similar situation when Kemba Walker signed with Boston after spending eight years with the Hornets. Boston, to clear space, sent Charlotte point guard Terry Rozier in a sign and trade deal instead of signing Walker outright.

Boston added some depth at the center position as they signed big man Tristan Thompson to a two-year $19 million contract. Thompson, 29, spent the first nine years of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he won a championship in 2016.

The team also signed former Hawks, Timberwolves and Pacers guard Jeff Teague to a deal to fill the role of backup point guard to Kemba Walker.

These signings replaced center Enes Kanter and point guard Brad Wanamaker, who are no longer on the roster. Kanter was traded from Boston to Portland as part of a three-team deal with Memphis to acquire a future draft pick. 

Wanamaker, who was an unrestricted free agent, signed a one-year $2.25 million deal with the Golden State Warriors to become the backup to Stephen Curry.

Along with free agency, the Celtics also selected two players in the first round of the NBA draft. With the 14th pick, Boston selected forward Aaron Nesmith out of Vanderbilt University, who many experts had listed as the best shooter in the draft. 

The Celtics also selected reigning PAC-12 player of the year and point guard Payton Pritchard from the University of Oregon.  

Perhaps the biggest news of the Celtic’s offseason came on Sunday night when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced that Jayson Tatum and the Celtics had reached an agreement on a 5-year $195 million dollar contract extension. Tatum, who finished the season averaging 23.4 points and seven rebounds, is now set to remain the franchise player in Boston for a long time to come.

With some free agents still available along with the opportunity for trades, the Celtics offseason isn’t officially over, but things are starting to take shape as training camp is just a few weeks away.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NFrieburger 

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About the Contributor
Nick Frieburger, Sports Editor | he/him
Nick is a senior journalism major at Suffolk University and is originally from Kingston, Mass. He is extremely passionate about Boston sports but has a specific love for the Celtics. His biggest claim to fame is watching every Celtics game since 2012. In his free time, he can be found relaxing and watching basketball or football while listening to music.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NFrieburger

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Recapping the Celtics’ free agency moves