Today, Ryen Russillo said something about Gordon Hayward and the Celtics that kind of shocked basketball twitter and left some Celtics’ fans upset, while others rejoiced.
Ryen Russillo says Gordon Hayward wants out of Boston
"I heard Gordon Hayward does want out."
(Via the Bill Simmons Podcast) pic.twitter.com/9sTAwqjRLv
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 4, 2020
On the Bill Simmons podcast, Russillo said that he heard that Hayward wants out of Boston. Initially hearing this I was met with some mixed emotions. I think the Celtics need Hayward to win games. But Hayward wasn’t the player we all thought he was going to be after his injury, and that’s not his fault. But, one thing the Celtics need Hayward for is to carry that veteran presence in the locker room and on the court.
We saw how bad they played this post season when Hayward was hurt. They barely got by Toronto and we all know he still wasn’t healthy when they played the Heat in the ECF. So it’s obvious that they need him, but not for the price he is set to make.
Which brings me to why I think Russillo might be right on this. Hayward knows this is probably going to be his last year in Boston. Let’s say he opts in and truly wants to come back. The Celtics are going to low ball him and not give him what we can assume will be another max deal or close to one. Fine, I don’t blame the Celtics for not wanting to do that. But, I also think the Celtics know this is his last year here too, and with smoke comes fire. Which is what Russillo said when he made this claim. I think Ainge and Hayward met and agreed to find a trading partner.
Honestly, Hayward has a lot of years left in his game and most are going to be elite! I really do believe that. I just don’t think it is going to be with the Celtics. So, the two trade partners I have seen on Twitter are Indiana and Utah. Which is interesting because both would make so much sense for the Celtics and Hayward. As we all know Hayward started his career in Utah and there might not be a better time to bring him back if I was working for the Jazz. Indiana on the other hand is cool because that is where Hayward is from and grew up. So playing in his home town and state is always a nice feel good story.
But, on the Celtics side both of these work excellent. Let’s start with Utah. Utah had another first round collapse and they are desperate to win now with Donovan Mitchell. Whether they have to give up Rudy Gobert, Bogdanovic or Ingles. I would LOVE to take any of those guys over Hayward who just didn’t work out for us. We all know that Gobert will be the rim protector we desperately need to win and Bogdanovic/Ingles would be a huge help for the scoring and shitty 3 point percentage they have. For Utah, adding Hayward could literally be what the Celtics tried to do. You pair him with your rising star and try to go for it.
As for Indiana, that one might be a little bit more of a stretch. I’m not sure where the Pacers stand in terms of their franchise. Are they in a rebuild? Are they trying to contend with Oladipo? Who knows, not me. But trading Hayward to them would most likely mean Ainge is looking for Oladipo, Myles Turner, or Sabonis. Much like Utah, I would take any of these three and they are fill the same needs the Jazz players would. But if Indiana is looking to trade Oladipo, I’m not sure Hayward would accept that trade. He’s probably going to want to go to a contender and Indiana isn’t at that level if they trade their best player.
At the end of the day, I think Russillo is right. Hayward wants out and I think him and Ainge had that talk. Me personally, I like the Utah deal a lot better. I think those three players are better than the three on Indiana and they fill an immediate need the Celtics have right now. Besides with any of these three Jazz players, we know what we are getting. Unlike Indiana, we don’t really know how good Turner or Sabonis truly is and we all know Oladipo can’t play a full season. I think if Ainge can get Bogdanovic and Ingles (not sure if the money works, but let’s say it does) for Hayward then I say you do it.
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