Who Should the Celtics Target if They Miss out on Gordon Hayward?

We got Woj bombed today. My man Adrian Wojnarowski brought the idea of the C’s landing both Gordon Hayward and Paul George into reality, and I couldn’t be happier. But honestly I wouldn’t be shocked if Hayward breaks my heart and stays in Utah, and then the Paul George trade falls apart. The Celtics have been talking about doing something “big” for what seems like every summer since the big three broke up. Outside of Hayward, there aren’t many top-tier free agents who could potentially leave their current team and also fit well with Boston right now. So what should the backup plan be? I’m just going to rattle off a couple names I wouldn’t mind seeing the Celts sign. Keep in mind these players probably won’t put them over the top, but they certainly wouldn’t be a step backward.


Danilo Gallinari, SF

Here’s a guy who is pretty underrated. Gallinari averaged 18.2 PPG on 44.7% shooting from the field and 38.9% from three to go along with 5.2 RPG last season. I’m not really sure what he’s going to demand in terms of a contract, but I think his ability to stretch the floor and play the 3/4 position would be something the C’s could use. He is 6’10”, and that frame allows him to cover guys anywhere from the 3 to the 5. He has had one problem over the past few years, and that is his ability to stay healthy for a full season. He hasn’t played more than 63 games in the last three seasons, which is obviously a red flag. But he has shown signs of durability before, and if he can get into a good form he would be an upgrade from Jae Crowder.


Serge Ibaka, PF

The Celtics were linked to this guy during the trade deadline last season, but they never got a deal done. But they knew he would only be a rental, as he is set to hit free agency this weekend. So why sign him? He is well known for his blocks so he would be a great rim protector (something the Celtics don’t have). He has also added a pretty good jump shot to his game, as his three point % and attempts have gone up in his past three seasons. Again, I’m not sure what kind of contract he would demand, but if you miss out on Hayward, signing Ibaka wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

There are plenty of options, but these are the only two second-tier free agents I think would be a good fit in Boston. Paul Milsap is available, but I really don’t want to see a long-term commitment to him. He’s getting up there in age and is probably going to ask for a max deal. I think Gallinari and Ibaka are going to get deals pretty close to the max, but they would still leave you enough room to add more guys. If they can’t get any of these guys, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ainge tried bringing back guys like Olynyk and Amir Johnson. But for now, it’s time to get excited about PG13 and Gordon Hayward. Hopefully, Trader Danny doesn’t let us down.

Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)

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