The Boston Celtics have strong interest in upcoming free agent Gordon Hayward, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
This is not surprising news. There has been talk about Hayward heading to Boston this summer for a while, especially considering Brad Stevens, Hayward’s former college coach at Butler, is at the helm.
While the Utah Jazz earn Hayward’s Bird rights and can offer him more money than any other club, Hayward’s omission from the All-NBA Team means he will not be eligible for the super-max contract, which is not great news for the Jazz.
The 27-year-old Hayward is coming off his best season. During the 2016-17 campaign, Hayward averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists en route to his first All-Star appearance. He shot 47.1 percent from the floor and 39.8 percent from 3-point range, tallying a true-shooting percentage of 59.5 percent and an effective field-goal percentage of 53.6 percent. In addition, he recorded .199 win shares per 48 minutes.
Hayward was also very impressive during the playoffs, registering 24.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game over 11 postseason contests.
He was originally selected by Utah with the ninth overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. The six-year veteran has been steadily improving ever since and finally broke out in a big way this past season.
The Celtics are currently in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They also own the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft, and they have the cap flexibility to sign a max free agent. A trio of Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and Hayward would certainly be a force to reckon with.