Boston Celtics Could Pursue Reunion With Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA Offseason looms ahead for the Boston Celtics, with limited resources to attract free agents beyond offering the veteran’s minimum. However, with certain players exiting their prime, this minimum deal might be the most enticing option available. One such player who fits this bill is Gordon Hayward, potentially emerging as a target for the Celtics in free agency.

Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report has outlined why he views Hayward as an “optimistic” acquisition for Boston.

“Going from a high-value player to one on a minimum contract can happen fast in the NBA, and Gordon Hayward may have reached that point this season. He turns 34 this month and is averaging just 4.3 points since being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. For Boston, he could fill a role similar to the one described for Ingles above while being younger and bringing more experience as a volume scorer.”

Bailey suggests that Hayward could potentially fill a role akin to Joe Ingles, another player he identifies as a possible target for the Celtics.

In 2017, Hayward inked a max contract with the Celtics but endured a devastating leg injury mere minutes into his debut game with the team. He’s now in the final year of a hefty four-year, $120 million deal he signed with the Thunder back in 2020.

Hayward’s career has been plagued by injuries, and his time away from Boston has seen him play significantly fewer games, with 44, 49, 50, and 38 outings over the past four seasons due to various ailments.

This injury history might suppress his market value in free agency. At 34 years old, and considering his injury track record, Hayward might prioritize joining a contender at this stage of his career.

Though such a move carries risks, the Boston Celtics would be wise to explore the option. When healthy, Gordon Hayward has proven himself as a capable contributor on the court. Should the terms align, a reunion between Hayward and the Celtics could prove beneficial for both parties involved.

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