Gordon Hayward is still being pursued by the Boston Celtics, who are willing to part with sizable assets for the Utah Jazz forward, per several league sources.
Since Hayward will be an unrestricted free agency next summer, Utah stand to lose him for practically nothing.
However, Quin Snyder’s team could secure a few draft picks and possibly Jaylen Brown by deciding to part with Hayward before February’s trade deadline.
If the Celtics fail to acquire Hayward via trade, they would make a strong push for him in free agency.
Hayward played under Celtics coach brad Stevens during his two-year collegiate career in Butler. Ever since Stevens became a head coach in the NBA, there have been talks of a Stevens-Hayward reunion.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Celtics will be the leading suitor for Hayward during free agency next year.
“His (Hayward’s) beloved college coach runs a rising team with an easy roadmap to max-cap space — and real interest in Hayward, per several league sources,” wrote the insider on Wednesday.
Gordon Hayward: Asking price?
Earlier in the summer, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported that even though Jazz are not intent on moving Hayward, things could change quickly.
“There were rumors around the draft that Hayward would welcome a trade (to Boston), but Jazz sources downplayed any reported unhappiness. Still, there is a real risk that Hayward could walk next July.”
Lowe has predicted if Jazz win 50 games this coming season, there’s a strong chance Hayward re-signs with them since Utah can offer him the most lucrative, five-year contract.
“If Utah makes a leap, the smart money is on Hayward sticking. The Jazz can offer a winning young core, an extra fifth season and if the new CBA breaks right for them, a little more cash than home teams can dangle under the current deal.”
Hypothetically, if the Jazz do decide to trade Hayward to Boston, they could secure a package of Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. (Approved: ESPN Trade Machine)
On paper that sounds like a steep asking price. But if Boston begin to make a push for Cleveland’s top spot in the East, they could be forced to forego some assets.
Gordon Hayward averaged a career-high tally of 19.7 points and 5 rebounds last season.