On July 4, 2017, I was elated to hear that my Boston Celtics had signed Gordon Hayward away from the Utah Jazz. I immediately began to ponder on the ramifications of Hayward’s move.
This is what I came up with
- Adds an All-Star to the east
- Gives the Celtics a scoring wing player
Gives the Celtics some firepower to compete with LeBron James and the Cavaliers
- Relieves pressure on Isaiah Thomas
- Makes it risky for teams to double Thomas, as an open Hayward can make teams pay for lax coverage
- Adds an effective pick and roll player who is comfortable shooting 3’s.
- Helps the Celtics even when Thomas is on the bench (can generate his own shots and can distribute if necessary)
- Natural fit in Brad Stevens’ system (familiarity from their Butler days)
- Has experience in big time games (played in the NCAA championship game)
- Gives the Celtics a third star
I am writing this piece nearly 3 months later, and a lot has transpired since that day in July. In late August, Isaiah Thomas was traded to the hated Cavaliers in exchange for a disgruntled Kyrie Irving.
Now instead of it being Thomas vs James, it is going to be Batman vs Robin, as LeBron will have to deal with his former sidekick in an attempt to remain triumphant in the East. More likely than not, the Celtics will face their former dynamo in May, and hope that he doesn’t have the same playoff magic.
With the 2017-18 NBA season ready to start, there is only one thing to expect, and that is the unexpected…