Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is drawing interest from the Boston Celtics as the Feb. 20 trade deadline nears, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
The move, should it be completed before Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline, would reunite the 23-year-old with his Butler University coach, Brad Stevens, who was hired by the Celtics in the offseason. In 2010, Stevens coached Hayward and Butler all the way to the National Championship game, eventually losing after Hayward's potentially game-winning shot from near half court clanked off the back of the rim.
According to Blakely, the Jazz are looking to add depth at point guard but aren't sold on any of Boston's assets besides Rajon Rondo. However, Utah does not believe Rondo would be willing to sign a long-term extension to stay in Salt Lake City. Identifying Celtics to exchange for Hayward in a potential deal is currently the biggest hurdle for a trade.
The Jazz are reportedly interested in the Celtics' first-round picks, but Blakely reports Boston remains "very reluctant" to part with those picks.
Despite a 19-33 record for the Jazz, Hayward is having an encouraging season, averaging 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, five assists and 1.4 steals in 36 minutes per game.
Hayward could not reach an extension with the Jazz earlier this season, so he will become a restricted free agent on July 1 unless Utah can package a deal before Thursday afternoon. SI WIRE: Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge out a week with groin injury