Though he’s showing improvements with his performance in his third year with the Boston Celtics, rumors still continue to circulate around Gordon Hayward and his future in the NBA. The Celtics are currently performing well in the 2019-20 NBA season but if they fall short of achieving their main goal, there are speculations that Boston could use Hayward as a trade chip to improve their roster this summer. According to Andrew Hughes of Fansided’s Hardwood Houdini, one of the NBA teams who could express interest in acquiring Hayward from the Celtics is the Utah Jazz.
Like the Celtics, the Jazz are also establishing an impressive performance this season, sitting in the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference with a 41-22 record. However, despite Donovan Mitchell’s explosive statistics almost every night, the Jazz are still not considered as a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. As of now, the Jazz clearly need to surround Mitchell with additional star power in order to have a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and contending for the NBA championship title.
Bringing Hayward back to Utah somewhat makes sense for the Jazz. Before he left the Jazz in the summer of 2017, Hayward was considered as the face of the franchise for years. Hayward may have been a disappointment in Boston, but reuniting with the NBA team that turned him into an All-Star caliber player may help him return to his old self. After years of playing with rising superstars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in Boston, Hayward won’t definitely mind serving as the Jazz’s second scoring option behind Mitchell.
To acquire Hayward from the Celtics, Hughes suggested that the Jazz could offer a trade package including Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neal, and Ed Davis to Boston.
“In this proposed deal, the Boston Celtics could space the floor with the sharpshooting of Bojan Bogdanovic, get second-unit play-making with Joe Ingles, get a useful two-way wing in Royce O’Neal and add a rim-protecting big in Ed Davis. Utah brings in another star who could support Mitchell’s offensive efforts and has thrived in Salt Lake City before.”
If the Jazz won’t be demanding the inclusion of a young player or a future first-round pick, the potential deal would indeed be a no-brainer for the Celtics. In exchange for Hayward’s expiring contract, the Celtics would be acquiring four players that would tremendously boost their roster depth. Bogdanovic and Ingles could either join the starting lineup or serve as the leaders of the Celtics’ second unit, while O’Neal and Davis could further improve Boston’s defense.