Days before free agency begins, the Boston Celtics are working double time in their efforts to acquire Gordon Hayward and Paul George. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Celtics need to sign Hayward first for salary cap purposes then work a trade with the Indiana Pacers for George. If the Celtics successfully get both Hayward and George, it will be one of the biggest free-agent coups in franchise history.

Several teams are eyeing the services of George but they are wary that he might leave after one season, exercising the player option in his contract. The Celtics, for their part, are confident that George will sign a long-term deal if they get Hayward first.

It would also help that George’s camp believes that the Celtics are a great fit for him. Earlier, George expressed interest in playing alongside the Utah Jazz superstar in the near future.

Hayward can sign $177.5 million deal with Jazz

After he was drafted ninth overall by the Jazz in 2010, Hayward emerged as the franchise’s newest superstar. In 73 games last season, he tallied 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, a performance that earned him a berth in the All-Star Game.

In 2014, Hayward signed a four-year, $63 million deal. By opting out of the final year of that deal, Hayward will leave $16.7 million on the table but he can get more money from the free-agent market. The Jazz can sign Hayward to a maximum five-year deal worth $177.5 million, but he would get less from other teams.

The 27-year-old Hayward missed the chance to get a super max five-year, $207 million contract after he was not selected to one of the three All-NBA teams.

Celtics could go after Griffin

In case the Celtics fail to sign Hayward, they might go after power forward Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Like Hayward, Griffin is an unrestricted free agent after he opted out of the final year of his deal with the Clippers. Griffin could get a maximum five-year deal worth $175 million from the Clippers and a four-year deal worth $130 million from other teams.

The Celtics would give Griffin a fresh start and a better chance of winning a championship.

In the past six years, the Clippers have failed to reach the Conference Finals. The only downside for Griffin is staying healthy. Over the past two seasons, he played in just 96 games, but he is a force when he is healthy. Last season, he averaged 21.6 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Clippers.

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