Bad news for Celtics fans as an NBA veteran may want out. According to multiple sources, Gordon Hayward reportedly wants out of Boston.
It was a concern since the end of the season whether the former Butler player will stay in Boston. Being that he was formerly a player for coach Brad Stevens in college, it appeared unlikely. Although Hayward has yet to make an official statement, some fans may have seen this coming.
Long Time Coming...
Trade rumors occurred before the news came out. Haywards time in Boston has been underwhelming, to say the least. Very first game as a Celtic Hayward suffered a gruesome leg injury that sidelined him. Even when he did return to the court, it took a while for Hayward to return back to full health. And this past season we saw the appear to return back to his all-star self. But got injured again with an ankle injury.
When Hayward did return to the Celtics rotation in the playoffs, it was too late. His lateral quickness and athleticism showed to be a liability. Now with ascending players such as Tatum, Brown, Smart, and more, his time may have come to an end. The team is appearing to be getting younger, faster, and bigger which leaves the forward out.
Having said all that, it doesn’t take away the fact that Hayward is capable of being an above-average player. His shooting is still special, decision making is good, and will always be an offensive weapon. He’s able to fit into any system. But when looking at the weapons Boston has now, Brad Stevens doesn’t need a guy like Hayward. Despite the fact that Hayward fits well in the Boston system and culture.
Celtics Fans Have Hope
The next move for Boston is to get Hayward for someone who can help them win a championship. With that said, one of the most obvious concerns for Danny Ainge is the frontcourt. Daniel Theis is the starting Center as of now without a true power forward. I expect Boston to be shopping Hayward around for a big man who can rebound.
Andre Drummond may be a target out of free agency. Although, I could see Ainge aiming for someone like Steven Adams or perhaps Joel Embiid. The Celtics could go the Houston Rockets route and end up acquiring another guard. Victor Oladipo and Devin Booker are possibilities of guys who can leave their teams for Boston. But I do not think that’ll fix their answers down low.
The Celtics do have some draft picks that I expect them to use. Now that the NBA is expected to resume December 22nd, a trade can come sooner than expected. The NBA draft will tell fans a lot about the plans of the Celtics. As for Hayward, there isn’t a team that he could go to that would make them a contender. At this point in his career coaches are more concerned about his health. And whether Hayward can return back to his former self. If he can’t the longevity of his career may be in question.