• Matt Esposito

OTG's Trade Deadline Marathon: Two Legendary Franchises Swap Stars

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

BOS receives: C LaMarcus Aldridge, F Rudy Gay

SAS receives: F Gordon Hayward, F/G Romeo Langford, C Vincent Poirier, 2020 1st Round Pick via Milwaukee

Why the Celtics would do it: Recently, fans and Boston media heads have flirted with the idea of shipping away Gordon Hayward. With Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown showing their star potential with more consistency than ever before, having Hayward in the lineup could stunt their growth. Plus, he becomes somewhat redundant when that trio runs the floor together.

Ditching Hayward could put the "addition by subtraction" rule to the test. There is no doubt, however, that starting LaMarcus Aldridge could boost an already elite offense. Prior to this season, Aldridge has never taken more than 1.5 triples per game. This year he is up to 2.6 nightly attempts and draining 44.7 percent of them. In fact, his most recent 10-game stretch pumped those numbers up to 5.0 3PAs and 56.0 percent, respectively.

Will Aldridge be able to switch pick and rolls or adequately defend the paint? No. Those days are behind him, if they were truly ever there to begin with. Yet, I'm not sure there is a center on the market who can stretch the floor, hang with guards and block shots. Taking the massive offensive upgrade in Aldridge (plus his depreciating contract with 1.5 years left on it) and adding depth with Rudy Gay makes some sense. The roster fit in Boston would benefit as well.

Why the Spurs would do it: San Antonio currently finds themselves chasing the Memphis Grizzlies for the West's 8th seed. Say that aloud and you may realize it is time to sell assets and plan for the future.

Hayward's career in Boston will likely feel off-kilter until he eventually finds a new team. Yet, he remains a talented individual who played like an All-Star earlier this season before his hand injury. He fits the Spurs system and they could either attempt to keep him around of ship him again for future assets.

What's more, Hayward could opt out of his contract this year to find a long term deal. If DeMar DeRozan opts out as well, San Antonio would be freed up from over $91 million. Is there a better way to restructure your franchise than clearing cap space, adding young talent like Romeo Langford and additional picks if Hayward is flipped? If the Spurs have a way to reconfigure their finances, gain a promising player or two and potentially nab a pick, they should do it.

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