NBA Rumors: Gordon Hayward Could Be ‘Portland’s Missing Piece’ To Win Title Next Season

After being eliminated in the first round of the 2020 Playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers must be aware that it would take more than Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for them to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title in the 2020-21 NBA season. If they are serious about beating powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Los Angeles Clippers in a best-of-seven series, they should strongly consider making major roster upgrades this fall. One of the most intriguing targets for the Trail Blazers in the 2020 offseason is Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics.

Hayward has yet to regain his All-Star form since suffering a grave injury, but he has already shown massive improvement with his game. If he succeeds to bring back the player that was once considered the face of the Utah Jazz franchise, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report thinks Hayward could be “Portland’s missing piece” to have a legitimate chance of bringing home the Larry O’Brien trophy next year.

“Remember all those three-balls Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless used to misfire? Those become a distant memory with Hayward, a 38.3-plus percent shooter from deep two of his last three healthy seasons, headed to the Pacific Northwest. Those questions about the identity of Portland’s third bucket-getter? Answered, as he’s been at least a 17-point scorer four times. He defends multiple positions. He rebounds. He moves the basketball. He looks like he could be Portland’s missing piece, and with the clocks ticking loudly for this team — Damian Lillard is 30, CJ McCollum is 29 — the Blazers are running out of time to jolt themselves into championship contention.”

If he’s really capable of returning to the Jazz’s version of himself, Hayward would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Trail Blazers. He would give them a third star alongside Lillard and McCollum. When healthy, he would boost the Trail Blazers’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, facilitator, floor-spacer, and multi-positional defender.

Last season, he averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

The Trail Blazers wouldn’t be needing to give up that much to bring Hayward to Portland this fall. To acquire the veteran small forward, Buckley suggested they could offer a package that included Zach Collins, Anfernee Simons, Rodney Hood, and Trevor Ariza to Boston.

The proposed deal would also make sense for the Celtics, especially if they don’t have any plan of giving Hayward a long-term extension. Instead of losing him as a free agent without getting anything in return, the suggested trade would allow them to turn his expiring contract into two young and promising talents in Collins and Simons and two veteran wingmen in Hood and Ariza.

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