Saturday, 24 February, 2018

Celtics need to sign Gordon Hayward to avoid summer disappointment

Celtics need to sign Gordon Hayward to avoid summer disappointment Celtics need to sign Gordon Hayward to avoid summer disappointment
Vera Richards | 02 July, 2017, 00:45

This is not to say that the Celtics won't be a good team next season but it's just that they might not meet their "on-paper" value unless two of them change their games to compliment rather than abate the others.

One of the teams who will be very active during free agency will be the Boston Celtics. Center Hassan Whiteside has been recruiting Hayward and is expected to attend Saturday's Heat meeting with him, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype.

Free agency starts on Saturday at 12:01 a.m. E.T. Hayward could essentially structure his contract to take advtange of a similar deal after three seasons whether he's in Boston, Utah or Miami.

Some think the Jazz will go into full on rebuild mode if Hayward and point guard George Hill are to depart, but with the pieces that would remain in place that does not seem necessary.

The New York Knicks might want to keep Rose to mentor new draft pick Frank Ntilikina at point guard, but the Minnesota Timberwolves might also want a backup to starting point guard Ricky Rubio while also reuniting Rose with former coach Tom Thibodeau.

But that's not stopping him from taking calls. He was reportedly close to Hill. Woj notes that one of the Jazz assistant coaches and the Utah training staff have been working with Hayward leading up to free agency, so that gives them a leg up.

"You're going to make more money in Utah", Tanner Ainge said yesterday on the "Dan Patrick Show" that's broadcast nationally.

"The Cavs were on pins and needles yesterday about the Celtics getting Paul George or Jimmy Butler", said ESPN's Brian Windhorst on Zach Lowe's "The Lowe Post" podcast in February.

Another topic that surely came up was how the West is loaded, and how Hayward might be best served heading East.

If the Celtics miss out on Hayward and he signs elsewhere, who else should the Celtics go after? Miami probably wants Hayward to see and visualize himself playing for the Heat, hence the banner being part of the sales pitch.

If Riley is able to sway Hayward to the Heat, his first-year max salary of $29.7 million would leave Miami with less than $6 million in cap space. Dion Waiters and James Johnson are both awaiting new deals and are in-line for raises following their work in 2016-17.

The order in which Hayward has his meetings set up isn't as important as the meetings themselves, but it's certainly unusual that the Jazz don't get first or last meeting with Hayward. The Miami Heat doesn't make mistakes.

Hayward is the top free agent, but Paul Millsap isn't far behind.

These combined factors should inform Hayward and his team that a 3+1 contract this summer is his best choice, even if he elects to stay in Utah.

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