The Boston Celtics have one of the best young cores in the NBA today. With young players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward, they look set to dominate the league. But perhaps that core may be separated, if rumors are to be believed.
Hayward has had an average season, by his own lofty standards. He averaged 17 points in the regular season, and about 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in the post-season. The past few seasons for Hayward have seen his numbers dip from his career-high numbers at Utah. At Boston, Hayward hasn’t delivered expectations since being traded from Utah in 2017.
Hayward rose to prominence at Utah, after being drafted 9th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. After a difficult few seasons, Hayward grew into one of the team’s best players. Without a doubt, his career’s best season was the 2016-17 NBA season, when he averaged 21.9 points per game, and helped the Jazz clinch the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
Hayward’s excellent performances in the first round against the LA Clippers pushed the Jazz to the conference semi-finals. This was the first series victory for the Jazz in the post-season since 2010.
With a stacked roster filled with promising youngsters, the Celtics will look to surround Jayson Tatum with the best pieces possible in order for them to win a Championship. And while Hayward’s performances in the regular season have proven promising, his injury record is a blemish. And perhaps the rest of the league is trying to capitalize on his decreasing value now.
According to Ian Begley of SNYtv, the Indiana Pacers are considering a trade for Gordon Hayward. Hayward has a player option in the next off-season on his $34 Million deal. But the report suggests that is unlikely Hayward opts out of the deal with no secure options for his future. There is also no word on what the Celtics would ask for him, or whether they would even entertain a trade for him.
This is a story to look out for. The Pacers will look to bolster the squad to get Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner to stay. The aforementioned Oladipo has been linked to several other teams in the off-season, such as the Miami Heat. Should the Pacers get Hayward, it would be a significant statement to the rest of the Eastern Conference.
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