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Jazz focused on Boston’s Jae Crowder in sign-and-trade for Gordon Hayward

First Published      Last Updated Jul 08 2017 06:41 pm

The Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics are in ongoing talks over a sign-and-trade that involves Gordon Hayward getting a max contract and Jae Crowder coming to Utah, league sources told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday.

Hayward announced his decision to leave Utah for Boston on Tuesday. But before the Celtics can officially sign Hayward to a four-year, $128 million contract, they must clear salary cap space. The Celtics started the process this week when they waived forward Kelly Olynyk, who reportedly has attracted the interest of the Jazz. ESPN reported Wednesday that Boston also has been shopping Marcus Smart, Crowder and Avery Bradley.




League sources told The Tribune that Hayward and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, have agreed to help facilitate a sign-and-trade. Utah would sign Hayward to a new max deal, then send him to Boston in exchange for Crowder, who has just short of three years and $22 million remaining on his contract.

A deal would be a boost for Utah as it watches its star player exit. It would also greatly help the Jazz's salary cap situation.

Without a sign-and-trade or some contract-clearing deal, the most space the Jazz could create in the immediate future is about $11 million, after signing first-round draft picks Donovan Mitchell and Tony Bradley on Wednesday. That could only happen if Utah delays signing Joe Ingles to his new four-year, $52 million contract, leaving much lower cap hold in place for the time being. But because teams are allowed to go over the cap to sign their own players, a sign-and-trade with Boston would allow the Jazz to bring back up to about $30 million in contracts and trade exceptions.

Asked about the possibility on Wednesday night, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said "we would never comment on any trade speculation."

Crowder was drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2012 NBA draft and then traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He was traded to the Celtics in December of 2014, and has averaged 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in his career.

Crowder's father, Corey, played for the Jazz during his NBA career. When Celtics fans chanted Hayward's name during a game in Boston this past season, Crowder was displeased, saying "I didn't like that at all. I think that was a sign of disrespect to me from the fans. That sparked a little fire in me."

tjones@sltrib.com, afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz, @aaronfalk

 

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