The Boston Celtics haven’t made any fireworks so far. With hopes of obtaining All-Star forward Kevin Love barely alive, the team may be setting its sights on a less notable, but effective player through free agency. According to a report by NESN Monday, the Celtics are one of three teams expected to throw a “large offer” at Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward.
The Celtics are looking for more scoring from the perimeter and Hayward would fit the bill. The former Butler Bulldogs star played under current Celtics coach Brad Stevens and the two have expressed interest in a reunion. The two other teams interested in Hayward are the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets. The Jazz, however, is expected to match any offer made to Hayward unless it is too big of an offer for them to afford.
Hayward initially received interest from the Celtics during the Kevin Love sweepstakes, as the team hoped to pair both players similarity to the pairing of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Last season, Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game and is definitely on the upside of his career. He is expected to demand a lot of money from any team interested, which could leave the Celtics at a disadvantage since they hope to still sign guard Avery Bradley and are unlikely candidates to sign a high-price free agent.
The Suns, a team that appears to be in the running for both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, could be a frontrunner because of the relationship Hayward has with Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek. The Suns are also a little bit ahead of the Celtics as far as winning now. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge also has a decision to make regarding All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. If he can’t surround Rondo with other stars, he may have to consider finally trading the captain and go into full rebuilding mode.