Clark: Once Overachievers, Celtics Now Courting Star Players

The Boston Celtics signed Gordon Hayward to a four-year deal Tuesday. That’s the good news.

The bad news, however, is that they may need to trade Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart as a result. These players have been the heart and soul of the Celtics and have done the dirty work for a team that finished with the best record in the East last season.

“From an emotional standpoint, it’s tough to see,” CelticsBlog.com’s Jeff Clark said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “We’ve gotten invested in these people. They’ve been over-achievers, they’ve been plucky, they’ve established this wonderful identity. But you hope the guys that are left over can continue on that identity and continue on that tradition.”

 

 

In other words, would you rather have Smart, who averaged 10.6 points per game last season, or Hayward, who averaged 21.9?

“I’ve said all along: This is a league where stars win,” Clark said. “As cute and as awesome as it is to see these guys overachieve, you still would rather have the top-end talent and watch them achieve what they’re meant to. We’re not jettisoning players for nothing – other than Kelly Olynyk, (who) was a free agent. We would be getting something for these players. There’s a lot of value out there for an Avery Bradley or a Jae Crowder or, in some cases, a Marcus Smart.

“So (the Celtics) missed out on Paul George,” Clark continued, “but there’s other opportunities out there to get better players in here.”

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