Report: Celtics positioning themselves to land Paul George, Gordon Hayward

Paul George scored 22 points. (Michael Conroy/AP)

The Boston Celtics appear to be making moves with the end goal of acquiring all-star forwards Paul George and Gordon Hayward, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Boston Celtics are pursuing an aggressive summer plan of sequencing the signing of free agent Gordon Hayward and relinquishing the assets needed to complete a trade for Paul George, league sources told The Vertical.
The Vertical

Despite not becoming a free agent until after next season, George has become one of the most talked about names this off-season after he announced he’d be leaving the Indiana Pacers at the end of the 2018 campaign to preferably sign with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.

George is a four-time all-star and has spent his entire seven-season career with the Pacers. Last season George averaged a career-high 23.7 points per game on 43.2 per cent shooting from the field and 37.0 per cent from deep to go along with a 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game average.

Hayward, on the other hand, will likely be an unrestricted free agent starting July 1 as he has a player option that most expect him to opt out of. He has long been a rumoured target of the Celtics.

Last season Hayward was named an all-star for the first time in his seven-season career with averages of 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game on 47.1 per cent shooting and 39.8 per cent from three-point range.

Should the Celtics manage to manoeuvre themselves to pull this off, they would be adding two 27-year-old all-stars to a 28-year-old, two-time all-star in Isaiah Thomas along with Jayson Tatum, the third-overall pick in this year’s draft.

According to the report, the Celtics are confident they can convince George to sign a long-term extension if they acquire him to keep said theoretical core going in order to compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.

Wojnarowski also says Boston has a contingency plan should they fail to sign Hayward in a possible pursuit of Los Angeles Clippers all-star forward Blake Griffin, who is an unrestricted free agent.

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