Celtics Plan To Pursue Jazz’ Hayward In Free Agency
According to multiple reports, including one from The Vertical’s Chris Mannix, the Boston Celtics are expected to go hard this offseason in their pursuit of Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward.
Talks about the Celtics pursuing Hayward aren’t anything new, as the two sides have been linked since the start of the season.
There is obviously a direct link between Hayward and the C’s, which is none other than Boston’s head coach, Brad Stevens.
Hayward played under Stevens at Butler University, where the two saw great success. They even went to the 2010 National Title Game, where they nearly knocked off the Duke Blue Devils.
Aside from Hayward’s connection to Stevens, the former ninth overall pick could truly help the C’s in a big way. Coming off of a season in which he averaged 21.9 points per game, Hayward could help to add a regular second scoring option to compliment Isaiah Thomas’ offensive threat.
Over his seven seasons in the NBA, the 6-8 forward has improved his scoring each season.
With the C’s now expected to put the full court press on Hayward, once the free agency period hits, it will be interesting to see if the 27-year-old will be willing to sacrifice some money for a chance to be part of one of the East’s best teams.
Since Utah is his original team, they could offer Hayward a max deal that would keep him in town for five years and total $180 million. Boston’s biggest possible contract offer to the vet would be capped at four years and $132 million.