Everyone knows the Boston Celtics have their sights set on Gordon Hayward. But they’re not alone.
The Miami Heat also intend to pursue the Utah Jazz star when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Thursday, citing league sources. It’s been rumored for some time that the Heat have interest in Hayward, but this report confirms those rumors and suggests Miami will make a very serious run at the 27-year-old free agent this summer.
Stein also reported that the Jazz regard the Heat as “no less a threat” for Hayward’s services than the Celtics. Boston has been rumored to be Hayward’s top destination outside Utah, notably because of the All-Star’s connection with Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who coached Hayward at Butler.
The Jazz, Stein notes, can offer Hayward a five-year contract worth roughly $180 million, while the Celtics and Heat only can put a maximum of four years and $133 million on the table. Utah also is coming off its best season in seven years after winning 51 games and advancing to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
But Miami long has been an attractive destination for free agents — Hayward reportedly has expressed interest in the Heat — while Boston, fresh off a run to the Eastern Conference finals, offers perhaps the best chance at a championship among the three teams.
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