Hayward likely to at least consider Celtics

Ashish Mathur

Gordon Hayward's long-range shooting, athleticism and overall skills from the wing would fit well with the Boston Celtics.

That is a big reason why the Celtics are so interested in the Utah Jazz star and also why Hayward is likely willing to at least think about joining the Celtics in free agency.

Per the Boston Herald:

"The way the Celtics so closely guarded their salary cap flexibility and the chance to clear space for a major free agent would lead one to believe they’ve had at least some indication that the 6-8 All-Star would be willing to opt out of his Utah deal and at least listen to their pitch."

The Herald added:

"Hayward bought a home near San Diego more than a year and a half ago, so maybe he stays with Utah or looks to play even further west. But he could also come to the Celts for three years with an out, play for his former Butler coach — knowing coach Brad Stevens understands his game and will keep his value high — and then be eligible to sign for the 10-year veteran’s maximum in 2020."

And if Hayward doesn't come? Well, perhaps the Celtics look elsewhere. Armed with the No. 1 pick, they could also look into Blake Griffin (LA Clippers) or maybe Jimmy Butler (Chicago).

Or as Hoops Rumors noted:

"The Celtics could alternatively put together a big package to trade with the Pacers for Paul George if George is willing to stay in Boston after he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer, Bulpett adds."