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Celtics’ pursuit of Gordon Hayward may have political implications for Danny Ainge’s son

Tanner Ainge is caught in a tricky spot. 

The Celtics want to sign the Jazz’s best player. The guy in charge of recruiting that player to Boston has a son running for office in Utah. You can see how this could get a little messy. 

Danny Ainge’s son, Tanner, is running as a Republican to replace Jason Chaffetz, who is resigning at the end of the month, in Utah’s third congressional district. Gordon Hayward, meanwhile, is expected to decline his player option and become a free agent, with the Celtics slated to be the top suitor for his services. This puts the younger Ainge in a tricky spot, as he acknowledged on Twitter in May. 

In an interview Tuesday, Ainge picked a side: Utah’s. 

“Unfortunately, I’m not sure I have a lot of influence there,” Ainge told Dennis Romboy of the Deseret News after an appearance on a local radio show. “Ultimately, Gordon is going to make the decision. I hope he stays.”

There are a lot of ifs here, but if Hayward opts out and if he signs with Ainge’s father in Boston, would voters actually take it out on Ainge at the ballot box?

“I have no idea,” Ainge told Romboy.

Ainge is one of three Republicans running in the Aug. 15 primary. Assuming Hayward makes his decision around the July 6 opening of free agency, that gives Ainge five weeks to either hope voters forget about his dad luring Hayward away or to celebrate Hayward’s new commitment to Utah.