The Boston Celtics could make a run at Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward as the trade midseason trade deadline draws near, ESPN and Grantland insider Bill Simmons reported on Tuesday.
Simmons, a die-hard Celtics fan, came up with another interesting trade speculation that would surely pique the interest of every hardcore basketball fans. According to the insider, the Celtics will pursue the former Butler Bulldogs standout either before the trade deadline or next summer.
"From today's BS Report - I believe Boston will make a big play for Gordon Hayward, either a Feb. trade or a restricted FA offer in July," Simmons posted on his Twitter page.
With former Butler's bench tactician Brad Stevens now calling the shots for the most storied franchise in NBA, it won't be a stretch to think that the Celtics will chase for the best player their head coach had in the collegiate ranks.
According to Mark Loiselle Jr. of CLNS Radio, Hayward would be a solid pickup for the Celtics as they look to rebuild the franchise from the ashes left by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
Hayward's ability to fill-in the stats sheet consistently and defend his man on the floor will give the Celtics a cornerstone swingman to help lead the charge in their future campaigns.
"Hayward, who played for head coach Brad Stevens at Butler University, is quite the player. Honestly, I coincide with Simmons on the free agency aspect more than the possible blockbuster deal," via CLNS.
Hayward, who averaged 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, will be a free-agent for the first time in his career after this season, though the Jazz has the rights to match up any offer sheet put on the table.
"The three-year guard is headed to restricted free agency, meaning that Utah would be able to match any offer to retain one of their franchise players. If he decided to take his shooting talents to Boston, the Celtics fan base would be in for a real treat."
"Hayward brings everything to the table that any franchise would want: a relationship with a familiar coach, high basketball IQ and a great character guy. No, he is not your typical franchise-changing player, but neither was Ray Allen," the basketball analyst added.
With the Celtics in tanking mode, it's unlikely the team will make a deal for Hayward before trade deadline. However, expect the franchise to go after the swingman really hard through free agency or sign-and-trade transaction next summer.
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