Welcome to another NBA season. With a new season, we are hearing the same old rumor; Gordon Hayward to the Boston Celtics. This was all started by ESPN‘s Zach Lowe.
His beloved college coach runs a rising team with an easy roadmap to max-cap space — and real interest in Hayward, per several league sources.
The Celtics should have real interest in Hayward. Hayward is a talented small forward with 20 point per game potential. He fits the Celtics, but the Utah Jazz have no reason to sell or not re-sign him.
Hayward will join George Hill, Rodney Hood, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert in the starting five when he recovers from a broken finger. On the bench the Jazz have Dante Exum, Alec Burks, Joe Johnson, Trey Lyles and Boris Diaw. With reserves Shelvin Mack, Raul Neto and Jeff Whitey, there isn’t a hole on the Jazz roster.
With all the talent and depth on the roster, the Jazz are expected to make the 2017 NBA Playoffs. The Jazz are not a playoff team without Hayward.
Last season, Hayward averaged a career high 19.7 points per game. He’s improved his points per game total each season in his six-year career. Hayward brings an offensive presence to the team that ranked second in the NBA in opponents points per game.
With the additions of Hill, Johnson and Diaw, Hayward is no longer the veteran. The Jazz finally have veteran leadership with playoff experience to help a young team finally make the playoffs. Once Hayward learns how to win, he can lead this young team for future seasons after Johnson and Diaw retire. Hill is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Hayward has a lot to learn this season.
If the Jazz are in the hunt for a playoff berth there is a zero percent chance Hayward gets traded. If the Jazz make the playoffs Hayward has no reason not to re-sign. The Celtics will always have interest, but the rumors need to stop. During the 2016-2017 season Hayward won’t be a Celtic. He could sign with Celtics next offseason as an unrestricted free agent, but the chances are slim. It is too early in the NBA season to speculate Hayward’s future.