30 June, 2017
During an interview with Utah Jazz reporter Hayley Byrnes during the National Football League playoffs, Hayward was asked a question that dominates sports talk radio around the country: Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady? The teams are the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and the Utah Jazz.
The ability for Hayward to potentially team up with George and join a 53-win club, however, is something that neither the Heat nor Jazz can offer. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Hayward "wants to take his meetings, and make a decision in short order". After leading the Utah Jazz to the second round of the NBA Playoffs last season, Hayward is expected to receive interest from many different teams. Hayward previously played under Celtics coach Brad Stevens at Butler. All other teams including Miami, will be limited to a four-year max offer. Thanks to new National Basketball Association rules, Hayward has many choices for his next contract, including signing a short one-year deal that would provide him the flexibility of signing a "super-max" contract starting at $35 million in the future. Are the Celtics gearing up to land both Paul George and Gordon Hayward?
If Hayward is in place, the Celtics would then trade for George, a 6-foot-9 forward from the Indiana Pacers.More news: Frank Kush, Windber native and Hall of Fame coach, dies at 88
The 6-foot-8 swingman, drafted No. 9 overall by the Jazz in 2010, averaged 21.9 points and shot better than 47 percent from the floor and almost 40 percent from 3-point range during the 2016-17 campaign. Realistically though, it seems more and more likely that Hayward ends up in Celtics green. The Celtics are an attractive destination because they have great complementary pieces, plus they have all sorts of avenues to get better, from improving young players to potential trades.
And all of it might not be enough to keep Hayward, coming off his first all-star appearance, in Utah.
Gordon Hayward has finalized his schedule for free-agent meetings.