Winners and losers from NBA’s stunning free agency

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This year’s wild post-NBA Finals period didn’t give us any one moment as indelibly absurd as the DeAndre Jordan “hostage crisis,” but we will always remember it for the relentless, overwhelming cascade of action: the Boston-Philly trade, Paul George speculation, Jimmy Butler, David Griffin, Phil Jackson, Chris Paul, Sam Presti off the top rope, Gordon Hayward monopolizing the Fourth of July, and so much more.

Let’s scan the NBA’s new landscape.

Winner: Boston Celtics

Hayward is perfect for Boston. Had the Pacers waited five days, the Celtics might have Paul George, too. When the league lowered its cap projection from about $101 million to $99 million, it became trickier for Boston to acquire George before free agency and leave enough space for Hayward.

With Hayward aboard, Boston would have at least revived its draft-day offer: two starters and three picks from among Boston’s own first-rounders and protected selections coming from the Clippers and Grizzlies. They might have even shoved in one of their golden chips —

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