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Celtics’ plans for $28.5 million Gordon Hayward trade exception, per Danny Ainge

Celtics, Danny Ainge, Gordon Hayward trade exception

The Boston Celtics got a $28.5 million trade exception due to the sign-and-trade deal made to send veteran swingman Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets. The exception can be used by the Celtics for a full calendar year in order to bolster their roster.

Tuesday morning, Celtics president Danny Ainge spoke about the team’s plans for the trade exception. For now, Boston will stand pat and see how things play out:

The Celtics are somewhat limited in how they can use the exception right now because of the hard cap put in place by the Tristan Thompson signing. Boston is roughly $20 million below that apron. However, things could change with other moves made, and the Celtics will monitor how this season is going and how the market is shaping up before looking to strike.

Hayward spent three seasons with the Celtics after agreeing to sign on a lucrative four-year contract with the team prior to the 2017-2018 season. After missing out on almost his entire debut campaign with the team due to a freak injury, Hayward slowly made his way back and looked more like himself this past season. He tallied averages of 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists through 52 appearances last season.

However, more injury problems cropped up for Hayward in the playoffs, which hurt Boston in its quest for the NBA Finals. The former Utah Jazz star was also often overshadowed by the development of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, along with the majority of the playmaking duties being handled by lead guard Kemba Walker.

Hayward shockingly turned down a $34.2 million player option for this season, only to turn around and get four years $120 million from Charlotte. After some haggling, the two sides seem to have benefited from this sign-and-trade deal. Gordon Hayward will finally get to start anew with a fresh scenery in Charlotte, while the Celtics can focus on building around their younger guys to hopefully contend for a title moving forward.