By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
After a week of ‘will he, won’t he,’ Danny Ainge landed the NBA’s largest-ever trade exception from the Charlotte Hornets. Despite speculation that Gordon Hayward may get away from the Celtics for nothing, Ainge was able to pull off what he believes is a multi-beneficial sign-and-trade.
Speaking with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Tuesday morning, Ainge said the benefits of the deal go beyond the $28 million trade exception.
“We saved $30 million – $34 million in payroll and luxury tax. We have three young players in Marcus [Smart] and Jaylen [Brown] and Jayson [Tatum] that we’re building around and we’re going to have to build around and try to be competitive with over the next bunch of years,” Ainge said.
He also pointed out that, while the Celtics didn’t directly get a player in return for Hayward, shedding the salary opened up the mid-level exception, which in turn expanded their option in free agency. “Getting under the luxury tax is a big thing this year,” Ainge told T&R. “And being able to use our mid-level exception to sign Tristan Thompson. We wouldn’t have got Tristan Thompson without a mid-level exception.”
“We’ve been able to get a lot, and the fact that we got the trade exception is great, but it’s also gravy,” Ainge said. So what will he do with his gravy?
MORE: Danny Ainge explains Gordon Hayward’s departure
Finally, Ainge pointed out that by not adding another veteran to the roster, some of the Celtics’ younger players who have been stuck on the end of the bench in recent years will now get more regular playing time.
“Right now, we’re looking to have our young guys get a chance to play,” he said. “Grant Williams and Rob Williams and Romeo [Langford], when he gets back healthy, I think are critical. Carsen Edwards, we have some good young players that we’re watching in that facility each and every day that we’re excited about.”
You can check out Danny Ainge’s full conversation with Toucher & Rich below.
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.