The Celtics’ offseason roster overhaul was highlighted by signing Hayward to a four-year, $128 million contract in July and landing Irving in a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers this month.
While the Celtics and Cavaliers originally agreed to their league-shocking swap on Aug. 22, the trade wasn’t officially completed until Wednesday night when the Celtics added a 2020 second-round pick (via the Miami Heat) to a package that featured Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.
The Celtics got a commitment from free-agent Hayward on July 4 but, because of roster shuffling, didn’t formally announce his signing until July 14. Hayward engaged in a conference call with Boston reporters that day but never had an introductory news conference.
Boston is set to return just four players — Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier — from a team that won 53 games and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals last season.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said the Celtics needed more top-line talent after Boston got bounced from the East finals in five games by the Cavaliers. Ainge was able to land two star players in Irving and Hayward but had to overhaul much of the rest of the roster in the process. The Celtics must replace four starters and will have at least five rookies on their roster this season.
Celtics co-owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, along with Ainge and coach Brad Stevens, will also be part of Friday’s introduction of Hayward and Irving.