On Tuesday, the Celtics and Utah Jazz squared off in a Summer League match. The Celtics were able to move to 2-0 in the league after a 89-82 win, led by James Young (17 points) and Terry Rozier (16 points). Celtics #3 draft pick Jaylen Brown missed the game with a hyperextended knee and bone bruise, but is expected back within the week.
However, the bigger story was the presence of Utah's star forward Gordon Hayward. The Jazz know that Hayward faces a big decision after this season, as the 6-foot-8 superstar can opt out of his $16+ million contract option and elect to be a free agent. Last season, Gordon Hayward played in a career-high 80 games, where he averaged 19.7 points, 5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. If he comes anywhere close to those numbers this upcoming season, he can expect to have a rather large pay day.
One of the teams at the top of Hayward's list, whether it be via a trade or in free agency next offseason, are the Boston Celtics. Disregarding the fact that the Celtics are spiraling upwards in the Eastern Conference, Gordon Hayward played under former Butler University head coach Brad Stevens, who is now leading one of the best young cores in the NBA in Boston. Check out his comments on Stevens from this past game:
Hmmm. Sounds pretty good if you are a Celtics fan. Gordon Hayward has been surprisingly vocal about his willingness to play for another team, which, again, should elate Celtics fans. If I am Danny Ainge, I am waiting for Gordon Hayward to become a free agent next offseason and signing him without having to give up any prospects or draft picks, similar to what happened this past offseason with Al Horford.
Even with Gordon Hayward on the team, there is not a chance in hell that the Celtics can compete with the Golden State Warriors, so why mortgage the future?