Nearly every move NBA fans have seen this offseason has culminated with the Western Conference becoming even more stacked than it already was. Last night, however, that course changed as Gordon Hayward made the decision to sign with the Boston Celtics and play under his former college coach at Butler, Brad Stevens.
Boston had been in pretty much every trade rumor out there over the past few weeks. From Jimmy Butler to Paul George, they were right in the conversation until they ended up being traded somewhere else. This left the Celtics at a stalemate, they were unable to acquire that franchise player they wanted to but still had a lot of time to work on acquiring Hayward.
Hayward has played with the Jazz his entire career. While he had a slow start to his NBA career, he has recently emerged as one of the top young talents in the league. Last year, he made his first all-star appearance while averaging 21.9 points and 3.5 assists per game.
The search came down to three teams: the Utah Jazz, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.
When it comes down to it, it seems that Boston was the best option for Hayward. Not only will he get a max contract, he will also play under his former college coach and be able to compete for a championship right off the bat. The Celtics finished first in the Eastern Conference last year and made it to the conference finals where they were bounced by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
One part of this Boston team that many people are sleeping on if the recent addition of Jayson Tatum. Tatum, who was selected by the Celtics with the no. 3 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, has shown a lot of promise recently. Earlier this week, he knocked down a mid-range jumper to lift the Celtics over the 76ers in the NBA summer league.
The only part the Boston Celtics need to fill now is a big man. They do have Al Horford who can be great at times, but he is really past his prime. Now, rumors are surfacing that Boston may make a move for Marc Gasol. This would really round out their lineup nicely.