Dan Feldman

Report: Celtics trading Avery Bradley to Pistons for Marcus Morris

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The Celtics’ twisting-and-turning pursuit of max space for Gordon Hayward is over.

Trade talks that included Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart will end with Avery Bradley going to the Pistons.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

The Celtics downgrade in the short-term in the trade, but clearing the way for Hayward more than makes up for it.

Bradley is an elite perimeter with more than enough offensive skills. He’ll provide an immediate upgrade at shooting guard in Detroit – even over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who remains a restricted free agent.

The Pistons hard-capped themselves by signing combo guard Langston Galloway, drafted shooting guard Luke Kennard and now traded for Bradley (who also reduces Detroit’s room under the hard cap). It sure seems Caldwell-Pope’s days in Detroit are numbered.

Bradley’s $8,808,989 salary this season is far less than Caldwell-Pope could get, and that matters for the Pistons, who are up against the luxury tax. But Bradley is on an expiring contract and due for a massive raise next season.

There’s a ton of risk in jettisoning Caldwell-Pope, who’s just 24, for a 26-year-old Bradley who can leave in a year. Either the Pistons lose Bradley to unrestricted free agency or give him a huge contract that becomes problematic with all their other salary commitments.

But that’s next year’s problem. For now, Detroit is better and less likely to pay the luxury tax this season.

The Celtics are also better with Morris and Hayward, who factored into this deal.

Morris is another combo forward on a team with Hayward, Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. But Morris is most equipped to play power forward, a position of need in Boston.

The Celtics are weaker on the perimeter, though Marcus Smart can handle some of Bradley’s defensive responsibilities. Maybe Terry Rozier is ready for a bigger role.

Boston avoids dealing with Bradley’s free agency. Al Horford and Hayward are already maxed out on multi-year deals, and Isaiah Thomas — maybe even up to the max himself — and Smart are headed for big raises next season. Bird Rights would have allowed the Celtics to keep everyone, but actually paying everyone might have been cost prohibitive to ownership.

Morris, due $10,375,000 over the next two years, is a bargain. Even if he’s not as good as Bradley, Morris allows Boston to sign Hayward and have an easier time affording Thomas next summer.

 

Report: Jazz’s and Celtics’ Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade talks ‘dormant’

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
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The Celtics and Jazz, according to one report, were “close” on a sign-and-trade involving Gordon Hayward and Jae Crowder.

To the contrary…

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Are talks dormant because Boston and Utah are too far apart on an agreement? Or are talks dormant because the teams already found an agreeable framework, and the Celtics are just canvassing to see whether they can do better elsewhere before pulling the trigger?

A sign-and-trade for Boston to clear max space for Hayward is possible, but remember, if Crowder is going to the Jazz, expect them to send back additional assets beyond Hayward. The Celtics need to move salary – likely Crowder, Marcus Smart or Avery Bradley – to pay Hayward the max, but they don’t need Utah to facilitate. The Jazz are just one of 29 potential trade partners, coincidentally the one losing Hayward.

Pistons hard-cap themselves with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope still a free agent

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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The moratorium ended at noon today, so teams are officializing agreements reached the last few days. Some deals will come quickly. Others will be delayed for cap reasons.

One I sure didn’t expect to be finalized today – the Pistons’ reported three-year, $21 million contract with Langston Galloway – is apparently done.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Langston Galloway.

The Pistons were always going to hard-cap themselves by signing Galloway with the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. The curious part is the timing.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a restricted free agent, and the Pistons are now officially hard-capped.

If Galloway’s salary this season is the smallest amount allowed with his reported contract terms, Detroit would be $20,044,288 beneath the hard cap. Caldwell-Pope’s max salary is $24,773,250.

If Caldwell-Pope signs an offer sheet that would take the Pistons over the hard cap, they must clear sufficient payroll before matching. Had they waited to sign Galloway, they could have matched then cleared salaries on a looser timeline before signing Galloway and officially hard-capping themselves.

Maybe the Pistons plan to let Caldwell-Pope walk if he gets that large of an offer. That’s a dangerous game to play with one of the team’s top assets.

Maybe already they have a deal lined up to dump salary. That would be fine.

But by signing Galloway now, the Pistons put a squeeze on themselves. We’ll see just how big of one.

Report: Clippers signing Milo Teodosic to a two-year, $12.3 million contract

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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Chris Paul is one of the best point guards of all-time, elite on both ends of the court.

The Clippers have already replaced his defense with Patrick Beverley. Now, they’ll replace his offense with Milos Teodosic.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Teodosic is an offensive whiz, a visionary passer who shoots 3-pointers efficiently.

Neither he nor Beverley will near Paul’s two-way excellence, but the newcomers give the Clippers a chance to play to different matchups.

The Clippers also have an offensive-defensive 1-2 punch at shooting guard with Lou Williams and Austin Rivers, who can both shift to point guard. Beverley also plays well off the ball. It’ll be interesting to see how the Clippers rotate all four (if they remain on the roster).

Already hard-capped by receiving Danilo Gallinari in a sign-and-trade, the Clippers will use a portion of their non-taxpayer exception to sign Teodosic. With about $4.2 million left above minimum salaries to round out the roster below the hard cap, the Clippers could still use a trade exception to acquire Tony Allen in another sign-and-trade.

Report: Celtics, Jazz close to sign-and-trade involving Gordon Hayward, Jae Crowder

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The Celtics trading Jae Crowder to clear max cap space for Gordon Hayward? That could make sense.

The Celtics getting Hayward in a sign-and-trade with the Jazz? That could make sense.

The Celtics sending Crowder to Utah in a Hayward sign-and-trade? Tying both ideas together should be mostly coincidental for Boston, but it might actually be happening.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald:

The big question: What else is Utah giving the Celtics? They could trade Crowder to any team to clear cap space for Hayward. Sending Crowder – a valuable player – to the Jazz makes sense only if they offer the best return.

Boston is getting Hayward anyway, so don’t think of him as part of the Celtics’ prize for Crowder. Trading Crowder should mostly be thought of as a separate transaction.

Utah has three players who could be traded for Crowder and still leave Boston enough cap room to max out Hayward: Rodney Hood, Raul Neto or Joel Bolomboy. Future draft picks, which carry a value of $0 in trades and against the cap, would also work. Other players could be included in a more complex deal.