Gordon Hayward completed his free-agent meetings on Monday, hanging out with the Jazz contingent in San Diego for a few hours. He is expected to make an announcement on his future on Tuesday. What’s striking is the high stakes this decision has taken on not only for the Jazz, but for the Celtics as well.
A small-market team facing the loss of an All-Star is always going be ticklish. But the Celtics have put all of their eggs in this specific basket, and there really isn’t a good back-up plan. Rudy Gay is not a back-up plan, though he might be a somewhat suitable stand-in player. What Hayward represents to the Celtics — a justification for not getting a Paul George deal done, a legitimate star player choosing Boston’s movement, perhaps the piece that makes the C’s truly competitive with Cleveland — is massive.
Danny Ainge has taken some heat after the P.G. ordeal, and he could use a high-profile victory — not for his own security (which is unchallenged), but to switch the narrative up. Utah, of course, would be crushed to lose its second-best player after finally breaking through this season. No pressure, Gordon!
(Miami, meanwhile, would hugely benefit from Hayward joining up but is on a good path either way.)
Here’s to hoping Hayward finds a
Article source: https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2017/7/4/15918842/gordon-hayward-decision-jazz-celtics-heat-gmib
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