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Report: Gordon Hayward’s college coach Brad Stevens of Celtics reaches out to free agent

Jul 2, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

Gordon Hayward AP

This should not be a surprise — everyone remembers their college friends fondly and wants to reconnect. (Except for your freshman dorm roommate.)

Gordon Hayward has a lot of fans in front offices around the NBA because he has a versatile game that could be plugged into nearly any team and system. The restricted free agent averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists last season for the Jazz, can score in the paint and on the perimeter, can create his own shot, is a good defender, and is moderately efficient. He’s a little of a “jack of all trades master of none” if you want to nit-pick, but a lot of teams could use him.

Probably nobody would know how to use him better than Boston’s Brad Stevens — he coached Hayward at Butler. Stevens has reached out, according to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Herald.

And the interest is mutual, reports Ken Berger of

Hayward certainly would be an upgrade over the inconsistent Jeff Green at the three for Boston. No doubt.

All this college reunion talk is nice, but what matters is money.

The Phoenix Suns are reportedly considering a max offer for Hayward and the Jazz have said they would match. Whether they mean that or are just making that public to scare off potential bidders remains to be seen, but the price tag to get in the Hayward sweepstakes has been set.

Does Ainge want to throw all those chips into the pot and dare the Jazz to call over Hayward? That seems a steep price for the versatile forward. But go to what you consider a fair price and the Jazz likely just match.

Stevens may want Hayward but this is difficult to envision coming together.

  1. kb2408 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    I think the Jazz will match a max offer. It’s not like free agents are flocking to Utah, so they are almost forced to retain their own players. Especially good, young players. GH would fit nicely in Boston or Phx. But Brad would probably help GH take his game to another level.

    • kinggw - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Boston would be doing the Jazz a favor. Hayward is overrated. At this point in his career he’s very average. He could improve, but his ceiling may be that of a third option on a good team, if that. He’s not worth $10M per season, let alone a max player. I don’t think Hayward keeps either the Jazz or the C’s out of the lottery.

      What makes you think Stevens can help raise someone’s game? He has yet to prove he’s a viable NBA coach. He didn’t have a bunch of talent on his team, but the young guys on his team didn’t take great leap forward under his tutelage.

      • seansull83 - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        Um did you watch Olynyk at all this year. I am not hear to say Stevens is the best coach ever, but guys did get better. Plug in a guy like Hayward with a great distributor like rondo and there may be something there. You can’t say Hayward is overrated when the Jazz are bad all over the place. Some people aren’t solo stars but a bunch of good players can beat a star any day, ask the Pistons and Rasheed Wallace.

  2. misremembered72 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    hope it happens

  3. khadeemw - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    what exactly makes gordon hayward an upgrade over jeff green…n wat makes gordon hayward such a ballyhooed player nowadays…putting up underwhelmingly insignificant stats on an underachieving team…just like jeff green, gordon hayward is inconsistent…what am i missing

  4. adoombray - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    as a Boston resident I am so ready to be done with Jeff Green. his inconsistency is maddening. if he comes out and doesnt hit his first couple of shots, he quits the rest of the game, and doesnt contribute in other ways to make up for it. He’s valuable in video games but he is perceived to be worth way more than he actually is. consistenting scoring from either the 2 or 3 and a defensive center are the two biggest issues with the Celtics.

    • cruzan80 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      The “problem” with Jeff Green is the role he’s being asked to play in Boston.

      He’s a “Robin” being asked to be “Batman”. This does not make him a bad player. On a team where he’s the 2nd or 3rd option he would probably be perfect.

      I think his time is up in Boston but he can definitely shine in a different situation.

  5. cruzan80 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Celtics can put together a pretty nice young group of guys if they snag this guy.

    PG Marcus Smart
    SG James Young
    SF Gordon Hayward
    PF Jared Sullinger
    C Kelly Olynyk

    Not a bad group to build upon…

    • kinggw - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      Looks like a lottery team for years to come.

      • cruzan80 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        @ kinggw

        I do believe my comment said “group to build upon”…not contend for a title. Remember they still have Rondo & Green who they will probabably trade to straegthen the overall roster in addition to these guys.

        You have to start somewhere….

    • ajsjr40 - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      A nice little team going absolutely nowhere.

      • dominwindhamnh - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        Thank God we’re still better than the Lakers…

    • mintberrycrunch1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      Sure, it’s all young guys with potential, but where is the defense in that lineup?

    • seansull83 - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      People looking at this lineup and thumbing it down are either bandwagon C’s we unfortunately picked up with the big 3 or just don’t understand how rebuilds work. Boston doesn’t struggle to attract stars, it’s a big market, so we get a core of players, maybe they grow, and we can attract one superstar quickly. You act like we are Philly, or the Cavs, doomed to lottery pick.

  6. unxpexted1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    I don’t like Gordon as as an SF, the game is too athletic for that position right now. I do think he’s a viable 2. For some reason, i really like him with the pacers. They desperately need shooting, he’s a decent defender, and can but the ball on the floor.

  7. kingperk123 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Celtics get him

  8. campcouch - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Get paid!

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