In midst of all the free-agency talk, Gordon Hayward kept quiet. There were rumors about where he would go, but he met with the teams and made sure he was making a quality decision.
Everyone knew the Hayward choice would be a big one, as the rumors were rolling about him reuniting with his former college coach, Brad Stevens. The Indiana kid proved his worth early on in his NBA career and has been nothing short of fantastic as his 7-year career has just reached its peak.
The one thing I love about this decision, is that he took his time. And he did so privately (as much as you can in today’s era). He took his time and understood that this was a decision his entire family would have to think about. Not many know how good Gordon is, in large part due to the small Utah market he plays in. This year making the All-Star team helped raise his notoriety, but the fact still remains this guy is an underrated star in the NBA.
Read this Players’ Tribune and you’ll get a hint at just how much Utah means to Gordon and how they took a chance on the kid from the small school in Indianapolis. He had proven they had a great team, but nobody guessed he would make his way onto the scene in such fashion. Flat out, many Utah and NBA fans knew that Hayward heading to Boston was a move that would be hard to pass on. I mean c.mon, the dude gets to play with his college coach who has also done his fair share of showing off in the NBA ever since he has arrived. The winning culture and championships, the young talent, and the chance to do something big.
Let’s face it. Utah doesn’t stand a chance getting out of the West with the Warriors and other teams adding weapons to their roster this offseason. All of the Western Conference has been trying to chase down the Warriors, while the East is still lacking the top to bottom quality that its counterpart has. This leaves more opportunity for Hawayrd and Thomas in Boston.
Personally, I thought that Boston had the Hayward deal done and in their back pocket. The GM genius Danny Ainge was trying to get Paul George first, but knew he had Gordon waiting to join the Celtics if things fell through. I also think the Celtics aren’t done. Trades and assets play a big factor in appealing to other teams to give up their key pieces. Guys like Boogie Cousins, Marc Gasol, and other big men are the focus for them. A roster with IT4, Hayward, Tatum/Brown, Horford, and a big man is all that’s needed.
This move for Hayward was tough, but it was a no-brainer when it comes to success. In todays league, two and three stars have to team up to compete yearly against the superpowers that are the Cavaliers and Warriors. The Celtics are the rising team in the East and they just got a lot better with this acquisition.
Needless to say, I’m already excited for next season. Watching the Summer League, I think Boston has themselves a stud in Jayson Tatum. Add him to the already great roster the Celtics have with the addition of Gordon Hayward and you have yourself a problem fellas.