The Boston Celtics have reportedly initiated talks on a major 3-team deal, but at least one of the other teams should want no piece of it.
Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker are, according to the NBA free agency tea leaves, headed to the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics respectively. Irving is a little less certain, but the Nets are the lingering favorite. But the Celtics apparently aren’t quite satisfied by simply replacing Irving with Walker.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics are interested in a three-team sign-and-trade which would net them Walker (of course), send Irving to the Nets (duh) and send Terry Rozier to the Hornets.
With Walker all but headed to the Celtics, Boston would rescind their qualifying offer to Rozier, sign him and send him to the Hornets. Charlotte benefits, since they then wouldn’t lose Walker for nothing. Walker and Irving can both sign four-year, $141 million max deals.
Per Wojnarowski, the Celtics want to create a full mid-level exception. So they have a plan for a subsequent move in free agency.
Exactly where the Nets fit in, or how they have to fit in, to this three-team deal is unclear. They can just sign Irving to that max contract, and move forward.
As a clear nod to that, Wojnarowski has added Brooklyn would “command” a first-round pick from Boston in the deal.
Though talks are being deemed as exploratory/preliminary, it’s like Danny Ainge and the Celtics think they can use their mystique on the Nets and Hornets to push a deal they want done. Even Charlotte could just try to sign Rozier as an unrestricted free agent once Boston rescinds their rights to him, albeit with plenty of cap space-flushed competition and no guarantees they’d even get a meeting.
In the case of the Nets, they would have absolutely nothing (besides a first-round pick?) to gain from their involvement in this Celtics-driven deal.
UPDATE: Wojnarowski has now reported the Nets will be signing Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. So the Celtics will have to find another unnecessary third team for their hypothetical three-team mega deal.