Every Celtics fan had extremely high hopes heading into last night’s season opener, only to get their hearts ripped to shreds. By now, we should all know about the horrific ankle injury Gordon Hayward suffered in the first quarter of last nights game vs. Cleveland. It completely sucked the life out of us all.
With any small chance of success for this season now in doubt, the C’s have to add another scorer if they want to remain competitive. If Hayward is officially ruled out for the season, the Celtics can apply for a Disabled Player Exception (DPE) which they would have until March 10th to use. If granted, it would give them $8.4M in cap relief to acquire a player on a one-year deal via trade or in free agency. For now, they could add a player using the veterans minimum and wait to use that $8.4M when more names become available throughout the season. So who should they target if given the opportunity?
Lou Williams, G, Los Angles Clippers
Out of all of the players the Celtics would have enough money to acquire, Lou Williams makes the most sense to me. He is currently making roughly $7M, so he fits the budget. He also has just one year left on his current contract, making him eligible if the Celtics were granted a DPE.
When the Celtics traded Avery Bradley this summer, it was rumoured that the Clippers had offered a deal which included Williams. The Celtics ultimately decided to go elsewhere, but this does tell us that the player would be available in a trade. The Celtics have a ton of picks, so if they were to give one up to acquire Williams it wouldn’t hurt them too much in the long run. The Clippers are also at a point right now where they could definitley use some younger pieces to build around Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Williams has either won or been in the running for 6th man of the year almost every year of his career. His ability to score off the bench would help the C’s out in a ton of ways, who are now without a big time scorer. They could potentially roll out a lineup of Kyrie, Jaylen, Morris, Tatum, and Horford, and still have Smart coming in off the bench along with Williams. It just makes too much sense.
While it’ll be sad to watch this team without Hayward, there is still a season that has to be played. The greiving proccess is going to be tough, but luckily we all have eachother for support. Here’s to hoping Hayward comes back stronger next year.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)