Could the Celtics "make a play" for Gordon Hayward?

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

This doesn't seem to be a rumor. Just food for thought at this point.

In case you missed it this week, Bill Simmons had some interesting thoughts on the Celtics and Gordon Hayward.  Sometimes Simmons throws things out there in a vague sort of way and you aren't sure if he's speaking from some kind of authority due to an inside source or if he's just tossing out his own wanna-be-GM ideas.  So take with a grain of salt (or just assume this is not an actual rumor for the time being).

The connection makes sense, as we've covered before.  Hayward used to play for Stevens at Butler and he's a rising star in the NBA.

NBA Trade Rumor: Boston Celtics Want Utah Jazz's Gordon Hayward - Yahoo Sports

Utah has made the former Butler product the focal point of its offense this season. To his credit, Hayward has responded by posting career-best averages in points, rebounds, assists, minutes and steals. Prying him away from the Jazz will not be an easy task and could prove costly for Boston, which would certainly have to offer a first-round pick to Utah to even begin discussions.

All of that is true, but all the extra touches and shot attempts has not helped his efficiency.  His shooting percentage is down, in particular his 3 point shooting which went from 41% a year ago to just 31% this year.  Still, we can blame that partially on the fact that he's the best player on a putrid team.  He's the only guy other teams need to focus on defensively.  Put him on a well coached team with other weapons and he could be a lot more efficient.

The Celtics have Jeff Green playing his position already (Note: it was pointed out to me in the comments that he actually plays a lot at shooting guard), but if they believe that Hayward has a higher upside than Green, then they would worry about what to do with Green after the fact.

Of course there are several other obstacles as well.  For one thing, if they wait till the offseason to make him a free agent offer, they'll have to throw some big money at him to even hope that Utah will not match.  In the process, they'd risk wasting their efforts and insulting Jeff Green in the process.  In other words, they'd better have a plan B.

Another option is to simply trade for Hayward now.  The Celtics have assets to offer.  On the podcast, Simmons suggested the Nets/Hawks 2014 pick while Zach Lowe indicated that it would take more than that.  Hayward is still on his rookie deal, so it would probably take another young player on his way up in the world.  Maybe the Celtics would consider sending Avery Bradley and one of the picks.  That would mean they wouldn't have to re-sign him in the offseason and in theory he's easier to replace than players at other positions.

I don't think the Celtics would trade Jared Sullinger under any reasonable circumstances, but if Bradley is off the table, I bet they could be convinced to part with Kelly Olynyk in a trade that's a clear upgrade.  Also, if you want to get really creative, they could include Jeff Green and use expiring salaries (Richard Jefferson, Kieth Bogans) to balance the salaries out.  Again, it boils down to what draft picks the Jazz want and what other pieces it would take.

Furthermore, the key aspect is just how much the Celtics are eager for Hayward.  I don't know if Ainge would bet the farm on him simply to reunite his coach with his former protege.  They must see something pretty special in the kid if they are as interested as some folks in the media would make us believe.

So is Hayward worth the effort?  Is he worth multiple trade assets to acquire?  Or should the Celtics hold off until the offseason and see if they want to make an offer then or get a read on the rest of the market?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join CelticsBlog

You must be a member of CelticsBlog to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at CelticsBlog. You should read them.

Join CelticsBlog

You must be a member of CelticsBlog to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at CelticsBlog. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker