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2017-18 Team-By-Team Salary Summary

Eric Pincus

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The NBA's salary cap for the 2017-18 season is $99,093,000.

Maximum salaries will start at approximately $24,773,250 for players with up to six years of experience, $29,727,900 for those with seven to nine and $34,682,550 for those in the league for 10 years or more.

To generate additional spending power, teams can make trades and/or buy-out (and stretch) players.

Meanwhile, the luxury tax threshold is set at $119,226,000, with the hard cap is $125,226,000, but that only applies to teams that have used their Mid-Level Exception (MLE, $8,406,000), Bi-Annual Exception (BAE, $3,290,000) or acquired a player via sign and trade.

Teams that go under the cap gain a $4,328,000 room exception but lose their MLE, BAE and any trade exceptions.

Hard-capped teams can spend the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5,192,000 but not the full MLE or BAE.

Atlanta HawksAtlanta Hawks

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

2017 Draft Picks: John Collins (19th, signed), Tyler Dorsey (41st, signed), Alpha Kaba (60th)

Acquisitions: Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, Mike Muscala, Ersan Ilyasova, Dewayne Dedmon, Nicolas Brussino, John Collins, Tyler Dorsey, Luke Babbitt, Quinn Cook, Tyler Cavanaugh (season twice, two-way), Josh Magette (two-way), Jeremy Evans (season, 10-day), Jordan Matthews, John Jenkins, DeAndre Liggins, Isaiah Taylor, Andrew White (two-way), Okaro White, Sheldon Mac, Antonius Cleveland (two 10-days, season), Jaylen Morris (two 10-days, season), Damion Lee (two 10-days)

Waived Players: Mike Dunleavy, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, DeAndre Liggins, Jordan Matthews, John Jenkins, Kay Felder (claimed by Chicago Bulls), Richard Jefferson, Quinn Cook, Tyler Cavanaugh, Jeremy Evans, Nicolas Brussino, Okaro White, Marco Belinelli, Sheldon Mac, Ersan Ilyasova

Traded Players: Dwight Howard, Ryan Kelly, Luke Babbitt

Expired 10-days: Antonius Cleveland (two), Jaylen Morris (two), Damion Lee (two), Jeremy Evans

Atlanta Hawks Team Salary

Boston CelticsBoston Celtics

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $0 Room (Aron Baynes)

Roster Count: 16 guaranteed, two two-ways

2017 Draft: Jayson Tatum (3rd, signed), Semi Ojeleye (37th, signed), Kadeem Allen (53rd, signed to two-way), Jabari Bird (56th, signed to two-way)

Other First-Rounders: Guerschon Yabusele (2016-16th, signed), Ante Zizic (2016-23rd, signed)

Acquisitions: Marcus Morris, Gordon Hayward, Abdel Nader, Aron Baynes, Paul Pierce, Daniel Theis, Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye, Kadeem Allen (two-way), Guerschon Yabusele, Ante Zizic, Shane Larkin, Kyrie Irving, Jabari Bird (two-way), L.J. Peak, Andrew White, Jonathan Holmes, Devin Williams, Daniel Ochefu, Daniel Dixon, Jarell Eddie (10-day), Greg Monroe, Xavier Silas (10-day), Jonathan Gibson

Waived Players: Tyler Zeller, Jordan Mickey, Demetrius Jackson, Paul Pierce, L.J. Peak, Andrew White, Jonathan Holmes, Devin Williams, Daniel Ochefu, Daniel Dixon

Expired 10-days: Jarell Eddie, Xavier Silas

Traded Players: Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic

Boston Celtics Team Salary

Brooklyn NetsBrooklyn Nets

Current: Up to $3.1 million in cap space

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room, $1,889,040 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

2017 Draft Picks: Jarrett Allen (22nd, signed) and Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Randy Foye ($3,000,000)

Acquisitions: D'Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, DeMarre Carroll, Yakuba Ouattra (two-way contract), Allen Crabbe, Jarrett Allen, Milton Doyle (season, two-way), Jeremy Senglin, Tyler Zeller, Jacob Wiley (two-way), Akil Mitchell, Kamari Murphy, Tahjere McCall, Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas, James Webb (two-way), Rashad Vaughn, Dante Cunningham

Waived Players: Archie Goodwin, Milton Doyle, Jeremy Senglin, Akil Mitchell, Kamari Murphy, Tahjere McCall, Sean Kilpatrick, Yakuba Ouattara (two-way), Jacob Wiley (two-way)

Traded Players: Brook Lopez, Justin Hamilton, Andrew Nicholson, Trevor Booker, Tyler Zeller, Rashad Vaughn

Brooklyn Nets Team Salary

Charlotte HornetsCharlotte Hornets

Current: Over the cap.

Exceptions: $4,890,385 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual

Roster Count: 14 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Malik Monk (11th, signed), Dwayne Bacon (40th, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Brian Roberts ($1,471,382), Christian Wood ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Dwight Howard, Michael-Carter Williams, Malik Monk, Dwayne Bacon, Antonio Blakeney (two-way), T.J. Williams, Isaiah Hicks, Marcus Paige (two-way), Mangok Mathiang (two-way), Julyan Stone, Terry Henderson, Luke Petrasek, Guillermo Hernangomez

Waived Players: Briante Weber, Terry Henderson, Isaiah Hicks, T.J. Williams, Luke Petrasek

Traded Players: Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, Johnny O'Bryant

Charlotte Hornets Team Salary

Chicago BullsChicago Bulls

Current: Over the cap but can get to $8.9 million under; hard-capped.

Exceptions: $3,790,615 Mid-Level (Justin Holiday), $3,290,000 Bi-Annual, $861,893 Trade (expiring 6/22/18), $8,994,767 Trade (expiring 2/1/19), $1,429,818 (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Lauri Markkanen (2017-7th, signed)

Acquisitions: Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Cristiano Felicio, Justin Holiday, David Nwaba, Lauri Markkanen, Antonio Blakeney (two-way), Ryan Arcidiacono (two-way), Quincy Pondexter, Diamond Stone, Jarell Eddie (season, 10-day), Jaylen Johnson, Nikola Mirotic, Bronson Koenig, Kay Felder, Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen, Willie Reed, Noah Vonleh, Jaylen Johnson, C.J. Fair, Sean Kilpatrick

Waived Players: Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Canaan, Dwyane Wade, Jarell Eddie, Diamond Stone, Jaylen Johnson, Bronson Koenig, Kay Felder, Quincy Pondexter, Willie Reed, Jaylen Johnson, C.J. Fair

Traded Players: Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, Jameer Nelson

Expired 10-day: Jarell Eddie

Chicago Bulls Team Salary

Cleveland CavaliersCleveland Cavaliers

Current: Over the cap and tax threshold, repeat tax eligible

Exceptions: $2,549,143 Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception (Cedi Osman), $5,811,114 (expiring 8/22/18), $2,500,000 (expiring 10/14/18), $1,312,611 (expiring 10/14/18), $1,471,382 (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster count: 13 guaranteed, one 10-day contract, two two-ways

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Bird: James Jones ($1,471,382)
  • Non-Bird: Deron Williams ($1,471,382), Derrick Williams ($1,471,382), Dahntay Jones ($1,471,382), Shawn Marion ($1,471,382 cap hold*)

* Cannot be used in a sign and trade because they were not active players in
the NBA last season.

Acquisitions: Kyle Korver, Jose Calderon, Cedi Osman, Derrick Rose, Jeff Green, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, John Holland (two-way), Kendrick Perkins, Jacorey Williams Dwyane Wade, London Perrantes (two-way), Isaac Hamilton, Dwyane Wade, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, Rodney Hood, Marcus Thornton (10-day), Okaro White (10-day)

Waived Players: Jacorey Williams, Isaac Hamilton, Kendrick Perkins, Edy Tavares

Traded Players: Kyrie Irving, Kay Felder, Richard Jefferson, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder

Expired 10-days: Marcus Thornton, Okaro White

Cleveland Cavaliers Team Salary

Dallas MavericksDallas Mavericks

Current: Under the cap by $13.9 million.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Dennis Smith (9th, signed)

Acquisitions: Dirk Nowitzki, Josh McRoberts, Johnathan Motley (two-way), Maxi Kleber, Dennis Smith, Maalik Wayns, Brandon Ashley, Gian Clavell (converted to two-way), Nerlens Noel, Jeff Withey, P.J. Dozier, Jameel Warney, Antonius Cleveland (two-way), Kyle Collinsworth (two-way, two 10-day contracts, season), Jalen Jones (two-way), Doug McDermott, Scotty Hopson (10-day), Jameel Warney (10-day), Aaron Harrison (10-day, season)

Waived Players: Nicolas Brussino, P.J. Dozier, Jameel Warney, Maalik Wayns, Brandon Ashley, Gian Clavell (waived, $50,000 guarantee), Jeff Withey, Antonius Cleveland (two-way), Kyle Collinsworth, Josh McRoberts

Traded Players: DeAndre Liggins, Jarrod Uthoff, A.J. Hammons, Devin Harris

Expired 10-days: Kyle Collinsworth (two), Scotty Hopson, Jameel Warney, Aaron Harrison

Dallas Mavericks Team Salary

Denver NuggetsDenver Nuggets

Current: Spent over the cap.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Tyler Lydon (24th, signed), Vlatko Cancar (49th), Monte Morris (51st, two-way)

Acquisitions: Trey Lyles, Paul Millsap, Torrey Craig (two-way), Tyler Lydon, Monte Morris (two-way), Josh Childress, Mason Plumlee, Richard Jefferson, Gary Harris (extension), Devin Harris

Waived Players: Mike Miller, Josh Childress, Jameer Nelson

Traded Players: Danilo Gallinari, Emmanuel Mudiay

Denver Nuggets Team Salary

Detroit PistonsDetroit Pistons

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: $0 Mid-Level (Langston Galloway, Eric Moreland), $0 Bi-Annual (Anthony Tolliver), $874,636 Trade (expiring 6/28/18), $7,000,000 Trade (estimated, expiring 1/30/18), $1,471,382 Trade (expiring 2/8/19), $1,331,160 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Luke Kennard (12th, signed)

Acquisitions: Avery Bradley, Langston Galloway, Eric Moreland, Anthony Tolliver, Reggie Bullock, Luis Montero (two-way), Luke Kennard, Jason Maxiell, Larry Nnoko, Derek Willis, Beno Udrih, Dwight Buycks (two-way, season), Reggie Hearn (two-way), Kay Felder (two-way), Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson, Jameer Nelson, James Ennis

Waived Players: Michael Gbinije, Jason Maxiell, Larry Nnoko, Derek Willis, Beno Udrih, Luis Montero (two-way)

Traded Players: Darrun Hilliard, Marcus Morris, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson

Detroit Pistons Team Salary

Golden State WarriorsGolden State Warriors

Current:  Over the cap, in the tax

Exceptions: $0 Taxpayer Mid-Level (Nick Young)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Jordan Bell (38th, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Matt Barnes ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Stephen Curry, Andrew Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia, David West, Nick Young, Omri Casspi, Chris Boucher (two-way), Jordan Bell, JaVale McGee, Georges Niang, Antonius Cleveland, Michael Gbinije, Alex Hamilton, Quinn Cook (two-way, season), Trevor Thompson

Waived Players: Antonius Cleveland, Alex Hamilton, Michael Gbinije, Georges Niang, Trevor Thompson, Omri Casspi

Traded Players: None

Golden State Warriors Team Salary

Houston RocketsHouston Rockets

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: None

Roster Count: 14 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Isaiah Hartenstein (43rd)

Acquisitions: Ryan Kelly, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Tim Quarterman (trade, season), Shawn Long, Chris Paul, Jarrod Uthoff, Zhou Qi, Nene, P.J. Tucker, James Harden (extension), Cameron Oliver, Luc Mbah a Moute, Tarik Black, Troy Williams, Demetrius Jackson (two-way), Bobby Brown (twice), Christapher Johnson, George de Paula, Isaiah Canaan, Danuel House, Gerald Green, R.J. Hunter (two-way), Markel Brown (two-way), Brandan Wright, Joe Johnson, Le'Bryan Nash (10-day)

Waived Players: Ryan Kelly, Jarrod Uthoff, Shawn Long, Christapher Johnson, Isaiah Taylor, George de Paula, Tim Quarterman (twice), Cameron Oliver, Isaiah Canaan, Danuel House, Bobby Brown (twice), Briante Weber (two-way), Demetrius Jackson (two-way), Troy Williams (stretched), Brandan Wright

Traded Players: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Montrezl Harrell, Sam Dekker, Kyle Wiltjer

Expired 10-days: Demetrius Jackson, Le'Bryan Nash

Houston Rockets

Indiana PacersIndiana Pacers

Current: Up To $5.4 million in cap space

Exceptions: $4,328,000

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: T.J Leaf (18th, signed), Ike Anigbogu (47th, signed), Edmond Sumner (52nd, two-way), Darren Collison, Cory Joseph

Acquisitions: Domantas Sabonis, Victor Oladipo, Darren Collison, T.J. Leaf, Edmond Sumner (two-way), Cory Joseph, Bojan Bogdanovic, Damien Wilkins, Ben Moore (season, two-way), Alex Poythress (two-way, season), Damien Wilkins, Ben Moore, DeQuan Jones, Trey McKinney-Jones, Jarrod Uthoff, Trey McKinney-Jones (10-day), Trevor Booker

Waived Players: Monta Ellis (stretched), Georges Niang, Rakeem Christmas, Kevin Seraphin, Ben Moore, DeQuan Jones, Trey McKinney-Jones, Jarrod Uthoff, Damien Wilkins

Traded Players: Paul George

Expired 10-days: Trey McKinney-Jones

Indiana Pacers Team Salary

Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Clippers

Current: Over the cap, hard-capped and repeater tax eligible

Exceptions: $399,770 Mid-Level; $7,273,631 Trade (expiring 6/28/18), $1,577,230 Trade (expiring 9/25/18), Trade $1,471,382 (expiring 1/29/19), $1,331,160 (expiring 1/29/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Jawun Evans (39th, signed), Sindarius Thornwell (48th, signed)

Acquisitions: Lou Williams (trade, extension), Patrick Beverley, Sindarius Thornwell, Jawun Evans, Montrezl Harrell, Blake Griffin, Sam Dekker, Kyle Wiltjer, Darrun Hilliard, Milos Teodosic, Willie Reed, Marshall Plumlee, Tyrone Wallace, C.J. Williams (converted to two-way, multi-year), LaDontae Henton, Ike Iroegbu, Jamil Wilson (two-way), Tyrone Wallace (two-way), Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Sean Kilpatrick (two 10-days)

Waived Players: Kyle Wiltjer, Darrun Hilliard, Paul Pierce, Tyrone Wallace, Marshall Plumlee, LaDontae Henton, Ike Iroegbu, Jamil Wilson (two-way)

Traded Players: Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, DeAndre Liggins, Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson

Expired 10-days: Sean Kilpatrick (two)

Los Angeles Clippers Team Salary

Los Angeles LakersLos Angeles Lakers

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Lonzo Ball (2nd, signed), Kyle Kuzma (28th, signed), Josh Hart (30th, signed), Thomas Bryant (42nd, signed)

Acquisitions: Brook Lopez, Alex Caruso (two-way contract), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyler Ennis, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant, Vander Blue (contract and two-way contract), Stephen Zimmerman, V.J. Beachem, Briante Weber, Andrew Bogut, Travis Wear (season twice, two 10-days), Gary Payton II, Nigel Hayes (10-day contract), Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Derrick Williams (10-day), Andre Ingram

Waived Players: Tarik Black, David Nwaba, Stephen Zimmerman, Briante Weber, V.J. Beachem, Briante Weber, Travis Wear, Andrew Bogut, Vander Blue (two-way), Corey Brewer

Traded Players: D'Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr.

Expired 10-days: Nigel Hayes, Travis Wear (two), Derrick Williams

Los Angeles Lakers Team Salary

Memphis GrizzliesMemphis Grizzlies

Current: Spent over the cap and hard capped

Exceptions: $490,385 Mid-Level (Ben McLemore, Rade Zagorac, Dillon Brooks, Ivan Rabb), $0 Bi-Annual (Tyreke Evans), $3,408,520 Trade (expiring 9/22/18), $1,697,250 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Ivan Rabb (2017-35th, signed), Dillon Brooks (2017-45th, signed)

Acquisitions: Wayne Selden, Jeremy Morgan, Tyreke Evans, Rade Zagorac, Ben McLemore, Mario Chalmers, Kobi Simmons (two-way), Vince Hunter (two-way), Ivan Rabb, JaMychal Green, Durand Scott, Myke Henry (two-way), Brice Johnson, Xavier Rathan-Mayes (10-day), Briante Weber (10-day), Marquis Teague (10-day, season), MarShon Brooks (10-day), Omari Johnson

Waived Players: Jeremy Morgan, Durand Scott, Wade Baldwin, Rade Zagorac, Vince Hunter, Brandan Wright, Brice Johnson, Marquis Teague

Traded Players: Troy Daniels, James Ennis

Expired 10-days: Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Briante Weber, Marquis Teague, MarShon Brooks

Memphis Grizzlies Team Salary

Miami HEATMiami HEAT

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room; $5.5 million Disabled Player Exception (Dion Waiters); Trade $1.3 million (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Bam Adebayo (14th, signed)

Acquisitions: Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Derrick Walton Jr. (two-way), Matt Williams (season, converted to two-way), A.J. Hammons, Jordan Mickey, Larry Drew II, Josh Richardson (extension), Erik McCree, Tony Mitchell, Derrick Jones, Luke Babbitt, Dwayne Wade

Waived Players: Chris Bosh, Larry Drew II, DeAndre Liggins (claimed by Milwaukee Bucks), Erik McCree, Tony Mitchell, Matt Williams two-way), A.J. Hammons (stretched)

Traded Players: Okaro White

Miami HEAT Team Salary

Milwaukee BucksMilwaukee Bucks

Current: Over the cap

Exceptions: $7,590,385 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual; $3,384,176 Trade (expiring 11/7/18), $179,502 Trade (expiring 2/5/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: D.J. Wilson (17th, signed), Sterling Brown (46th, signed)

Acquisitions: Tony Snell, JeQuan Lewis, Sterling Brown, D.J. Wilson, Bronson Koeing (two-way), Jalen Moore (two-way), James Young, Jason Terry, Brandon Rush, Kendall Marshall, Gerald Green, Joel Anthony, DeAndre Liggins (waiver claim), Gary Payton II (two-way), Joel Bolomboy (two-way, conversion to NBA contract), Xavier Munford (season, two-way), Eric Bledsoe, Sean Kilpatrick (two-way, season), Marshall Plumlee (two-way), Tyler Zeller, Brandon Jennings (two 10-days, multi-year), Shabazz Muhammad

Waived Players: Spencer Hawes (stretched), Jalen Moore (two-way), Bronson Koenig (two-way), JeQuan Lewis, James Young, Kendall Marshall, Brandon Rush, Joel Anthony, Gerald Green, Gary Payton II, Xavier Munford, DeAndre Liggins, Joel Bolomboy, Mirza Teletovic (stretched), Sean Kilpatrick

Traded Players: Greg Monroe, Rashad Vaughn

Expired 10-day: Brandon Jennings (two)

Milwaukee Bucks Team Salary

Minnesota TimberwolvesMinnesota Timberwolves

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $0 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Justin Patton (16th, signed)

Acquisitions: Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, Jamal Crawford, Justin Patton, Antony Brown (two-way), Marcus Georges-Hunt, Shabazz Muhammad, Amile Jefferson (season twice, two-way), Melo Trimble, Aaron Brooks, Shawne Williams, Andrew Wiggins (extension), Derrick Rose

Waived Players: Nikola Pekovic, Jordan Hill, Shawne Williams, Amile Jefferson, Shabazz Muhammad

Traded Players: Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Ricky Rubio

Minnesota Timberwolves Team Salary

New Orleans PelicansNew Orleans Pelicans

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: $2,190,385 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual; $2,090,000 Trade (expiring 6/21/18), $3,853,931 (expiring 9/1/18), $1,471,382 (expiring 2/1/19), $1,429,818 (expiring 2/1/19); $2,300,00 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Space: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Frank Jackson (31st, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Donatas Motiejunas ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, Frank Jackson, Darius Miller, Ian Clark, Jalen Jones (two-way), Charles Cooke (two-way), Perry Jones III, Tony Allen, Martell Webster, Dante Cunningham, Cliff Alexander, Jameer Nelson, Josh Smith, Mike James (two-way), DeAndre Liggins (two 10-days, season), Nikola Mirotic, Emeka Okafor (10-day, 12-day, season), Rashad Vaughn, Walter Lemon Jr. (two 10-days), Larry Drew II (two 10-days), Jordan Crawford

Waived Players: Axel Toupane, Quinn Cook, Martell Webster, Perry Jones III, Cliff Alexander, Jordan Crawford, Josh Smith, Jalen Jones (waived, claimed by Dallas Mavericks), Rashad Vaughn, Mike James (two-way)

Traded Players: Tim Frazier, Quincy Pondexter, Omer Asik, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, Dante Cunningham

Expired 10-days: DeAndre Liggins (two), Emeka Okafor (10-day, 12-day), Walter Lemon Jr. (two), Larry Drew II (two)

New Orleans Pelicans Team Salary

New York KnicksNew York Knicks

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room (likely saved for Ron Baker); $2,381,965 Trade (expiring 9/25/18), $1,435,750 (expiring 2/7/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Frank Ntilikina (8th, signed), Damyean Dotson (44th, signed), Ognjen Jaramaz (58th)

Acquisitions: Tim Hardaway Jr., Ron Baker, Ramon Sessions, Michael Beasley, Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Nigel Hayes, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Jamel Artis, Jarrett Jack, Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, Trey Burke (twice), Isaiah Hicks (two-way), Luke Kornet (two-way), Johnny O'Bryant, Emmanuel Mudiay, Troy Williams (two 10-days, season)

Waived Players: Maurice Ndour, Marshall Plumlee, Jamel Artis, Chasson Randle, Nigel Hayes, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Trey Burke, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Ramon Sessions, Johnny O'Bryant

Traded Players: Carmelo Anthony, Guillermo Hernangomez, Doug McDermott

Expired 10-days: Troy Williams (two)

New York Knicks Team Salary

Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma City Thunder

Current: Over the cap and tax threshold

Exceptions: $0 Taxpayer Mid-Level; $2,550,000 Trade (expiring 7/6/18); $1,491,042 Trade (expiring 7/6/18)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Terrance Ferguson (2017-21st, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Norris Cole ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Paul George, Patrick Patterson, Raymond Felton, Nick Collison, Dakari Johnson, Terrance Ferguson, Andre Roberson, Daniel Hamilton, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook (extension), Rashawn Thomas, Bryce Alford, Markel Brown, Yannis Morin, Chris Wright, P.J. Dozier (two-way), Corey Brewer

Waived Players: Isaiah Canaan, Markel Brown, Semaj Christon, Rashawn Thomas, Bryce Alford, Yannis Morin, Chris Wright

Traded Players: Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott

Oklahoma City Thunder Team Salary

Orlando MagicOrlando Magic

Current: Under the cap by $3.6 million.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Jonathan Isaac (2017-6th, signed), Wesley Iwundu (2017-33rd, signed)

Unsigned Draft Picks: Fran Vazquez (2005-11th)

Acquisitions: Shelvin Mack, Jonathon Simmons, Arron Afflalo, Khem Birch, Jonathan Isaac, Wesley Iwundu, Marreese Speights, Adreian Payne (two-way), Troy Caupain, Kalin Lucas, Damjan Rudez, Jamel Artis (two-way), Rodney Purvis, Rashad Vaughn (two 10-days), Rodney Purvis (two 10-days, multi-year)

Waived Players: Stephen Zimmerman, C.J. Watson (stretched), Patricio Garino, Marcus Georges-Hunt, Damjan Rudez, Kalin Lucas, Troy Caupain, Rodney Purvis, Adreian Payne (two-way), Elfrid Payton

Traded Players: Elfrid Payton

Expired 10-days: Rashad Vaughn (two), Rodney Purvis (two)

Orlando Magic Team Salary

Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphia 76ers

Current: Spent over the cap.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Markelle Fultz (2017-1st, signed), Anzejs Pasecniks (2017-25th, cap hold $1,516,200), Jonah Bolden (2017-36th)

Other First-Rounders: Furkan Korkmaz (2016th-26th, signed)

Acquisitions: Markelle Fultz, Furkan Korkmaz, J.J. Redick, Amir Johnson, James McAdoo (two-way), James Blackmon Jr., Jacob Pullen (converted to two-way), Kris Humphries, Emeka Okafor, Joel Embiid (extension), Marc Loving, James Webb, Andrew Andrews, Robert Covington (extension), Trevor Booker, James Young (two-way), Demetrius Jackson (two-way), Larry Drew II (10-day), Marco Belinelli, Ersan Ilyasova, Derrick Rose

Waived Players: Gerald Henderson, James Blackmon Jr., Kris Humphries, Emeka Okafor, Marc Loving, James Webb, Andrew Andrews, Jacob Pullen (two-way), James McAdoo (two-way), Trevor Booker, Shabazz Muhammad, James Young (two-way)

Traded Players: Shawn Long, Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas

Expired 10-days: Larry Drew II

Philadelphia 76ers Team Salary

Phoenix SunsPhoenix Suns

Current: Under the cap by $6.6 million.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Josh Jackson (2017-4th, signed), Davon Reed (2017-32nd, signed), Alec Peters (2017-54th, signed)

Acquisitions: Mike James (two-way contract, season), Alan Williams, Josh Jackson, Davon Reed, Peter Jok, Anthony Bennett, Alex Len, T.J. Warren (extension), Alec Peters (two-way contract), Tidjan Keita, Greg Monroe, Isaiah Canaan, Danuel House (two-way), Josh Gray (10-day, 12-day), Elfrid Payton, Shaquille Harrison (two 10-days, multi-year)

Waived Players: Leandro Barbosa, Peter Jok, Anthony Bennett, Elijah Millsap, Tidjan Keita, Derrick Jones, Mike James, Greg Monroe, Isaiah Canaan

Traded Players: Eric Bledsoe

Expired 10-days: Josh Gray (10-day, 12-day), Shaquille Harrison (two)

Phoenix Suns Team Salary

Portland Trail BlazersPortland Trail Blazers

Current: Over the cap

Exceptions: $8,406,000 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual; $543,471 Trade (expiring 6/28/18), $12,969,502 Trade (expiring 7/25/18), $3,505,233 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Zach Collins (10th, signed), Caleb Swanigan (26th, signed)

Acquisitions: Andrew Nicholson, C.J. Wilcox (two-way), Archie Goodwin, Isaiah Briscoe, Anthony Morrow, Wade Baldwin (two-way, multi-year), Brandon Rush (10-day), Georgios Papagiannis (10-day, multi-year)

Waived Players: Festus Ezeli, Andrew Nicholson (stretched), Archie Goodwin, Anthony Morrow, Isaiah Briscoe

Traded Players: Tim Quarterman, Allen Crabbe, Noah Vonleh

Expired 10-days: Brandon Rush, Georgios Papagiannis

Portland Trail Blazers Team Salary

Sacramento KingsSacramento Kings

Current: Up to $3.5 million in cap space.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 14 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: De'Aaron Fox (2017-5th, signed), Justin Jackson (2017-15th, signed), Harry Giles (2017-20th, signed), Frank Mason (2017-34th, signed)

Other Unsigned Draft Picks: Bogdan Bogdanovic (2014-27th, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Ty Lawson ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, George Hill, Jack Cooley (two-way), JaKarr Sampson (two-way), Matt Jones, Marcus D Williams, David Stockton, Reggie Hearn, Joe Johnson, Bruno Caboclo

Waived Players: Antony Tolliver, Aaron Afflalo, Marcus D Williams, Matt Jones, David Stockton, Reggie Hearn, Georgios Papagiannis, Joe Johnson

Traded Players: George Hill, Malachi Richardson

Sacramento Kings Team Salary

San Antonio SpursSan Antonio Spurs

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: $0 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Derrick White (29th, signed), Jaron Blossomgame (59th)

Other
Unsigned Draft Picks: Nikola Milutinov (2015-26th, cap hold $1,465,920)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: David Lee ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Pau Gasol, Brandon Paul, Joffrey Lauvergne, Derrick White, London Perrantes, Darrun Hilliard (two-way), Amida Brimah, LaMarcus Aldridge (extension)

Waived Players: Amida Brimah, London Perrantes

Traded Players: None

San Antonio Spurs Team Salary

Toronto RaptorsToronto Raptors

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: $469,491 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual; $328,000 Trade (expiring 2/23/18); $11,800,000 Trade (expiring 7/13/18); $6,125,440 Trade (expiring 7/14/18); $2,451,225 (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one-way

Draft Picks: OG Anunoby (2017-23rd, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Early Bird: Nando De Colo* (RFA, $1,901,900)
  • Non-Bird: Jason Thompson* ($1,471,382)

* Cannot be used in a sign and trade because they were not active players in
the NBA last season.

Acquisitions: Justin Hamilton, Kyle Lowry, C.J. Miles, OG Anunoby, Aflonzo McKinnie, Serge Ibaka, Kennedy Meeks, K.J. McDaniels, Lorenzo Brown (two-way, season), Kyle Wiltjer, Davion Berry, Malachi Richardson, Nigel Hayes (two 10-days)

Waived Players: Justin Hamilton (stretched), Kyle Wiltjer, Andy Rautins, K.J. McDaniels, Kennedy Meeks, Davion Berry

Traded Players: DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, Bruno Caboclo

Expired 10-day: Nigel Hayes (two)

Toronto Raptors Team Salary

Utah JazzUtah Jazz

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $1,128,000 Room, $3,708,883 Trade (expiring 2/8/19), $2,386,864 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Donovan Mitchell (13th, signed), Tony Bradley (28th, signed), Nigel Williams-Goss (55th),

Acquisitions: Trey Lyles, Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles, Thabo Sefolosha, Donovan Mitchell, Royce O'Neale, Jonas Jerebko, Ekpe Udoh, Tony Bradley, Eric Griffin (two-way), Naz Long (season, two 10-days), Nate Wolters (two-way), Taylor Braun. Torian Graham, Kendall Pollard, Erik McCree (two-way), Georges Niang (two-way), Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, David Stockton (two 10-days, multi-year)

Waived Players: Boris Diaw, Joel Bolomboy, Naz Long (twice), Taylor Braun, Torian Graham, Kendall Pollard, Eric Griffin (two-way), Nate Wolters (two-way), Derrick Rose

Traded Players: Joe Johnson, Jae Crowder

Expired 10-day: Naz Long (two), David Stockton (two)

Utah Jazz Team Salary

Washington WizardsWashington Wizards

Current: Currently over the cap and in the tax

Exceptions: $1,902,000 Taxpayer Mid-Level; Trade $1,312,611 (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: None

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Brandon Jennings ($1,440,000)

Acquisitions: Tim Frazier, Otto Porter, Jodie Meeks, Mike Scott, Michael Young (two-way), Devin Robinson (two-way), John Wall (extension), Donald Sloan, Carrick Felix, Ramon Sessions (two 10-days, season), Ty Lawson

Waived Players: Donald Sloan, Daniel Ochefu, Mike Young (two-way)

Traded Players: Sheldon Mac

Washington Wizards Team Salary

Salary and team data change quite often. If you notice a discrepancy,
please notify

Basketball Insiders Senior Writer Eric Pincus
.

(Updated on 5/11/18)

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NBA

NBA All-Star Friday Recap

Basketball Insiders recaps NBA All-Star Friday 2019, which featured a four-point shot and a deep pool of talent in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Matt John

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NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game had a variety of big names to trot out on Friday night. This list included former NBA players such as Ray Allen and Jay Williams, current WNBA players Stefanie Dolson and A’ja Wilson, entertainers such as JB Smoove, Mike Colter, and Hassan Minhaj, and last year’s MVP, Quavo.

The Home Team was coached by WNBA legend Dawn Staley while the Away Team was coached by WNBA superstar Sue Bird.

Team Staley pulled ahead multiple times throughout the game, but every run they made was followed by a run by Team Bird. Team Bird’s comeback attempt fell short as Team Staley ultimately won 82-80.

Internet Comedian Famous Los led the way for Team Staley, scoring a team-high 22 points on 10-16 shooting while dishing out three assists in the team’s victory. Jay Williams razzled and dazzled as well, scoring 18 points on 8-15 shooting while dishing out five assists – including this beauty.

What could have been with Jay Williams…

Quavo topped his performance last year for Team Staley, scoring a game-high 27 points in total, highlighted by what may very well be the only five-point play to ever happen in an NBA-sponsored basketball game. Quavo shot 13-19 from the field while also corralling nine rebounds as well. Ray Allen also put up a vintage performance, putting up 24 points on 11-21 shooting, nine rebounds and five assists.

There were a few interesting wrinkles to this game. A four-point shot was implemented in which $4,000 would be donated to charity for each shot made from distance. Ten four-pointers were made in the game, totaling $40,000 in charity donations.

Two more fun facts: We didn’t even get a tip-off in this game. Comedian Brad Williams stole the ball from the ref to start it off. Also, just because it’s a harmless exhibition does not mean participants won’t get into it. JB Smoove and Hassan Minhaj got a little testy at the end of the first quarter.

Other participants included:

From Team Bird: Ronnie 2K (Director of influencer marketing, 2K Sports), AJ Buckley (Actor, “SEAL Team”), Bad Bunny (Singer), Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks’ Co-Owner), Adam Ray (Host of About Last Night), Amanda Seales (Actor/Comedian), James Shaw Jr. (Hometown Hero), Brad Williams (Host of About Last Night)

From Team Staley: Chris Daughtry (Singer), Terrence Jenkins (TV Personality/Actor), Dr. Oz (TV Personality), Rapsody (Rapper), Bo Rinehart (Musician), Steve Smith (Former NFL Player), Jason Weissman (Hometown Hero)

MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars

If last year’s Rising Stars game had an overabundance of talent, this one may have very well topped it. That’s how loaded this year’s class was.

Let’s start with what could be a preview for what’s to come next year: Luka Doncic’s performance. More specifically, his connection with Lauri Markaanen. Throughout the first quarter, Doncic found Markaanen everywhere, either for easy alley-oops or wide open threes on the pick and pop.

Why bring this up? Because this is exactly what we could expect to see from Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis when they share the court together, as Markaanen has a similar skill set offensively to Porzingis’.

As for the game itself, Team USA jumped out to a 12-point lead at the half, thanks primarily to the likes of Jayson Tatum (16 points on 6-12 shooting) and Kyle Kuzma (21 points on 10-16 shooting).

Team World wouldn’t go down without a fight. In the third quarter, they managed to cut the deficit down to a point thanks primarily to Doncic and Ben Simmons’  collective efforts, but that was as close as they got. Team USA pulled away in the fourth quarter as they went on to win 161-144.

Simmons led the way for Team World, as he finished with 30 points on 14-17 shooting on a squad where, outside of Simmons, the scoring was pretty well spread out as Doncic, Markaanen, DeAndre Ayton, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Rodney Kurucs, OG Annonuby, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Okogie all had 10 points or more.

Team USA had a few standouts, including Kuzma (35 points on 15-27 shooting), Tatum (30 points on 12-24 shooting), Donovan Mitchell (20 points, nine assists, seven rebounds), and Trae Young (25 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds). All were deserving of the MVP, but the award ultimately went to Kuzma.

Tonight, we go a little deeper into All-Star Weekend with the Dunk Contest, Three-Point Shooting Contest, and the Skills Challenge. Stay tuned!

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NBA

NBA Daily: Can Tobias Harris Put the 76ers Over the Top?

Shane Rhodes breaks down whether the addition of Tobias Harris can push the 76ers into the NBA Finals.

Shane Rhodes

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The Philadelphia 76ers made perhaps the biggest move of trade season when they acquired Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers. Harris, in the midst of a career year, was on the path to a lucrative contract come this summer. But, with an uncertain future in Los Angeles, Philadelphia capitalized and made their move to win now.

In doing so, the 76ers have put together, arguably, the most talented starting roster in the Eastern Conference. But what exactly does Harris bring to the team, and can he put them over the top of their competition in the East?

Harris has very much looked the part of an All-Star this season and has given Brett Brown and the 76ers coaching staff yet another weapon with which to attack defenses. The 26-year-old has posted career highs in points (20.7), rebounds (7.8) and assists (2.8) per game, field goal percentage (49.7) and three-point percentage (43.0) this season and should prove a significant upgrade over Wilson Chandler, who was sent to Los Angeles in the trade, on both offense and defense.

In a superior lineup, his Harris’ play should only improve as well.

His statistical values may dip with the move to Philadelphia, but, in a way, the team may look at that as a positive; with so many talents on the floor together, Brown, in theory, should be able to utilize Harris in order to reduce wear and tear on his other players — namely Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler — and keep them somewhat fresh for the postseason, if not at the expensive of some personal stats.

Harris is another player that can handle the ball and should lead to even more movement within the 76ers offense. He has shown over the years an ability to push the ball up the floor in transition and should relieve some of the pressure from Simmons in that area as well. In the event that he is the lone star on the floor, or should the ball movement stop, Harris able and willing to break out his do-it-himself kit; he may not dance a defender like Kyrie Irving, but he is more than capable of sizing up his man and either hitting a shot in their face or brute-forcing his way to the basket.

Harris is a more-than-capable shooter and, off the ball, should provide Simmons with another reliable perimeter outlet and open things up on the interior open things up inside for him and Embiid as well.

Defensively, Harris isn’t a wizard, but the effort and energy are there and should shine in the already competent 76ers defense. While it may not be ideal in all situations, Harris has the size to bang down low with some centers and the quickness to keep up with smaller players on the perimeter. Harris’ length — a near seven-foot wingspan — should also prove an asset, as he will allow the defense to switch on almost every possession. In the postseason, that could prove invaluable.

As good as this acquisition may look on paper, it isn’t without its cons or risks. Harris’ is another primary option on a team that already had three of them in Embiid, Simmons and Butler; could the presence of too many options bog things down a la the Boston Celtics earlier this season?

His contract situation, alongside the impending free agency of Butler, should give some pause as well.

The team has hedged its future on those two players and given up some good (and some great) assets to acquire them. Should Butler leave, Harris would provide the 76ers with the ultimate insurance policy but, should both players move on after the season it could set the team back years.

The 76ers have plenty of pre-existing issues to figure out as well, a losing record against their chief Eastern Conference competition — Milwaukee Bucks (0-1), Toronto Raptors (1-2) and Celtics (0-3) — most prominent among them.

But, with Harris in the fold, the 76ers seem to have all the pieces of the puzzle. If the players can put it all together, they could very well find themselves in the NBA Finals come June.

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NBA

Gordon Hayward Clearing Hurdles, Finding Joy In Comeback From Injury

Spencer Davies sits down with Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward to discuss the first half of his season, returning from a devastating injury and the team blocking out the noise.

Spencer Davies

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As his Boston Celtic teammates got some shots up to prepare for a morning practice in Cleveland, Gordon Hayward sat in a chair on the baseline watching.

Quicken Loans Arena held a particular place in his mind. Not because of a championship memory, nor for any individual accomplishment.

But because nearly five months after an emotional return and season debut, Hayward had come back to the scene where the course of his career shifted in an instant.

“It’s something that I was thinking about sitting in the hotel last night,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders before shootaround at The Q. “Like, last time I was here, my whole world changed. I’ll probably think about it, be a little anxious about it at the beginning when I first check in, but then when I get going it’ll be fine.”

If there was any trepidation, it was either short-lived or didn’t show. The 28-year-old looked as confident as ever, packing a powerful punch off the bench as a scorer and a distributor for a depleted Boston team. He finished with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“I didn’t even think about that until this morning,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said of Hayward’s return to Cleveland. “I thought about it in the preseason and then for whatever reason, I probably should’ve thought about it.

“I just think he has played enough now where he’s past that initial hurdle, right? So it’s probably not fun to walk out on the court the first time and shoot around and those type of things but ultimately, I think he probably moved past that really quickly. I thought he was great tonight, both ends of the court. I thought his offensive playmaking passing the ball was as good as his scoring.”

Hayward has scored 20 points or more on just three different occasions this year. It’s a far cry from the All-Star numbers he used to put up nightly. He understands, however, that perseverance is necessary as he slowly, but surely gets re-acclimated to playing.

“Physically, I’ve felt pretty good. I think I’m definitely moving way better than I was at the beginning of the season,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “I’m getting more and more confident with each month, each week. There’s definitely still games where I just don’t feel like myself, but I think I’m trending in the right direction.”

When asked about those areas that don’t feel right yet Hayward pinpointed attacking the basket, specifically going at big men in the paint, taking contact and finishing.

Knowing that he can go up, get hit and be able to come down fine is a mental hurdle Hayward admittedly still has to clear—and the only way to get past that is repetition.

“You just have to do it, and do it more than one time,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “It’s like an experience-type thing. You’ve got to just do it and feel confident doing it, and until that happens, then you’ll just keep thinking about it.”

Once Hayward is driving and dunking on a regular basis without thinking about what happens next, he says he’ll officially be back. Until then, an appreciation of being able to play the game he loves again is the true big picture—especially after an injury that could’ve taken it all away from him.

“That’s been a mental thing as well is trying to find some joy in just the fact that I’m back out on the court,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “Because some people don’t return from that and a blessing that we have the technology that we do these days that they were able to fix my ankle. So I guess just being patient with the whole thing, that’s been a challenge.”

CELTICS A WORK IN PROGRESS

Coming into the 2017-18 season, the excitement in Boston was palpable. Hayward signed a four-year maximum contract with the Celtics that summer. Shortly thereafter, Danny Ainge made a blockbuster deal to acquire Kyrie Irving, creating a dynamic duo to begin a new era of C’s basketball.

The Celtics started the campaign on the road against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Cavaliers in October. Since the storyline of the night was Irving facing off against the franchise he had won a championship with on opening night, Hayward’s debut took a bit of a back seat…until the unthinkable happened.

Less than halfway into the first quarter, Irving saw a cutting Hayward with an open path to the rim and threw up a lob looking for an alley-oop finish. Cleveland’s Jae Crowder and LeBron James came to double before Boston’s pair could connect, leaving Hayward afloat in an awkward position.

Hayward came down almost horizontally, with only his left leg there to brace himself for the fall. Tragically, he dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia simultaneously in one of the most gruesome moments in the history of sports.

As he was consoled by trainers and wheeled away on a stretcher with an air cast, the whole arena was dead silent. Players from both teams were praying in disbelief of what they’d just witnessed. Just like that, Hayward’s season was over, and even perhaps his career.

Following multiple successful surgeries and going through rehabilitation programs over the course of a year, Hayward was able to make a miraculous return to the court on October 16, 2018. He’s been on the floor for 26 minutes per night, playing in 53 of 58 total games.

Just as Hayward has tirelessly ground away to get back to form, so have the Celtics. With a healthy Irving and returning Hayward, along with the group that unexpectedly went seven games into the conference finals last year, they were supposed to be the top dog in the East.

It’s no secret that the Celtics boast an abundance of young talent. Jaylen Brown has shown plenty of growth after a shaky start to the season. Terry Rozier is on track to get paid in the offseason by a team in need of a starting point guard. Jayson Tatum is Boston’s second-best scorer (16.5 points per game) and rebounder (6.3 boards per game) at just 20 years old.

That goes without mentioning rookie center Robert Williams. Daniel Theis and Brad Wanamaker, while not quite as young, are two inexperienced NBA players who have overseas experience. The Celtics’ depth is a quality that is necessary for a deep run in the postseason.

“I think anytime they have an opportunity, they seem to make the most of it. That’s at every position,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders.

At the halfway mark headed into the All-Star break, Boston holds fifth place, locked in a battle with the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers for the three seed. The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors each have 43 wins with over five games separating them from the trio of teams behind them.

Despite back-to-back blown leads and losses to both Los Angeles franchises at the TD Garden, the Celtics have won 12 of their last 15 contests.

“I think when we all play with energy and when we’re connected defensively – and offensively, for that matter, but especially on the defensive end – we give ourselves a chance to win the game,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “Then, when we are able to move the ball and put together games where we have 30-plus assists, that’s when we’re really tough (to beat).”

TUSSLING WITH THE MEDIA

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, though. Early in the season, there were many things said by multiple players on the record, including some pointed words from Irving in more than one instance. These comments can be twisted and turned easily.

Add in an example: the day he told reporters, “Ask me July 1,” regarding his free agency plans, it turned into a big mess of speculation. What many people didn’t hear was Irving’s thoughts regarding the media’s spin on what was actually going on.

“This is like college recruitment for me all over again. I don’t know. This is just weird,” Irving said to the scrum of reporters in New York. “It’s a new position to be in answering all these questions, seeing all this stuff that I’m trying to avoid, and it’s just a distraction. It’s crazy how stories and things and storyline can seep into a locker room. You guys are part of the destruction of locker rooms. That’s just what it is….”

Hayward had plenty of his own thoughts on the matter.

“I mean, I think certainly all outside noise has an opportunity to put a wedge between people and between teammates,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “I think especially in today’s age where there’s social media and information is right now, all-the-time, like everybody sees what everybody says. There’s guys that are paid to give their opinions on things and, if you read into all that stuff, can definitely put a wedge in between guys.

“More than anything, just talking to people,” Hayward said of the proper remedy. “If you have an issue with somebody, just tell ’em, talk to ’em. But I think for the most part if you block all that stuff out and really just focus on yourself as a group and what the coaching staff is saying and what your teammates are saying, it’s usually better.”

FATHERHOOD IS A BLESSING

We talked about the youth Boston has already, but Hayward isn’t in that same category anymore. While it’s not that he’s old, per se, he is a nine-year man in the NBA.

Hayward considers it “weird” that he’s the veteran now. Yet, at the same time, he doesn’t mind that time has flown by because of the gift of fatherhood. The injury he sustained was absolutely devastating.

But it put things in perspective for him, and no matter what happens from here on out with his career, Hayward will always be grateful for the most important thing in his life—family.

“No doubt. I think no matter what happens on the court, my girls don’t care,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “They just care that dad’s home and they want to play hot lava and play picnic and all that stuff. Like having three healthy kids and a wife at home, those things are good.”

If Hayward’s recent play is an indication of what we’re going to see from him moving forward, he might just get the best of both worlds.

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