Gordon Hayward was the big domino to drop as he and the Celtics popped fireworks on the 4th of July signing a 4-year/$128M contract, player option for 4th year. After winning 53 games last year and making it to the Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics have had a productive offseason. Everyone was on pins and needles as Haywards decision was up in the air for awhile.
Originally, Chris Haynes of ESPN, who covers the Golden State Warriors during the season, broke the news.
Free-agent Gordon Hayward plans to sign with the Boston Celtics, league sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 4, 2017
Then, out of nowhere, Woj dropped a bomb. So basically, two reporters at ESPN had conflicting reports. Chaos broke out and everyone was confused.
Gordon Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, tells ESPN: "Gordon hasn't made a decision yet. We are still working through it."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 4, 2017
Most thought the decision leaked, but Hayward and his camp wanted to be on top of things and control the narrative. Likely wanting to tell the Utah Jazz before the press release. In the meantime and after it was official, everyone was having a little fun.
Long waits are the worst https://t.co/n56oumkIwr
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 4, 2017
So Gordon Hayward was conflicted and wrestling with the decision, yet he managed to own a 2100 word column on it. Legendary deadline writer.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) July 5, 2017
Interesting song choice 😳 (via rudygobert27/Instagram Story) pic.twitter.com/MxHpnPjXW1
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 5, 2017
While the decision to trade out of the number 1 spot in the 2017 draft is still up in the air, they were able to land a 6’8 scoring wing in Jayson Tatum, sign a top free agent in Gordon Hayward, and receive another future top 5ish pick. They have a very flexible roster with players who are in their prime (IT, Hayward, Horford) and young budding talent (Brown, Tatum, Terry Rozier, Zizic).
Rumors have already started swirling about possible moves the Celtics could make. Marc Gasol could be an option with the Grizzlies entering rebuilding mode as Z-Bo and Tony Allen are gone. They’re gonna need more than the team they have now to get over the hump that is LeBron James.
However, they might want to wait a little bit and see how their young players do before deciding whether or not to trade their assets into proven stars to see if they can go toe to toe with Cleveland and Golden State.
The most likely players to be moved are Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, or Jae Crowder. With Isaiah Thomas likely receiving near max money in free agency next year, I think Bradley might be the odd guy out. While I’d rather have him than Smart or Crowder, I think they won’t be able to afford to keep him. It’ll be interesting to see what Danny Ainge plans to do going forward and don’t forget that he still has a ton of top draft picks going forward.
The underrated part of this story is that Gordon Hayward is moving parallel in the power rankings of what is the We Love White People Here Places.
Article Title via Larry Beyince
Cover Photo via SI