NBA Rumors: Celtics To ‘Go Hard After’ Gordon Hayward In Free Agency

by NESN Staff

March 8, 2017

Here’s something you haven’t heard before: The Boston Celtics are interested in Gordon Hayward.

OK, maybe you have seen the countless reports linking the Utah Jazz star to Boston. But there’s a reason for all the chatter: Hayward seemingly would be a good fit with Celtics, considering his scoring ability from the wing and experience playing for C’s head coach Brad Stevens at Butler.

Hayward will become a free agent this summer, and there are rumors Boston will try to sign the 26-year-old forward. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports’ “The Vertical” stoked those rumors on his latest podcast, which included a discussion of why the Celtics are “looming as a real threat” to land Hayward.

“There’s tremendous pressure on (Utah) right now because Gordon Hayward’s a free agent, and Boston has cap space — and Brad Stevens,” Wojnarowski said on the podcast.

“… This isn’t the reason Boston didn’t make a deal (at the NBA trade deadline), but it is part of their thought: ‘Why would we give up all of our assets for Paul George and Jimmy Butler when we could go out in free agency and sign Gordon Hayward?’ They’re going to go hard after him.”

Per Wojnarowski, a lot depends on how the Jazz fare in this year’s playoffs. If Utah, currently the Western Conference’s No. 4 seed, fails to make a deep playoff run, Hayward might be more inclined to sign elsewhere in free agency, seeing as guard George Hill also will be a free agent in 2017.

“They want to be able to achieve in the postseason and show Gordon, ‘Hey, we’ve got a group here for you that we’re going to win big with,'” Wojnarowski added. “But Boston is in a pretty good position. They’ve got a pretty good situation. They are going to take a shot at him, assuming they don’t do something big at the (NBA) draft.”

Thumbnail photo via Jeff Swinger/USA TODAY Sports Images

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