Gordon Hayward began his recruiting tour as of July 1. The three stops he will be making are: Miami, Boston and of course the team who drafted him, Utah. It is currently a toss-up on where Hayward will land.
Hayward is now the biggest free agent name out there so teams are gunning for him. Here’s what each teams’ advantages and disadvantages are for Gordon’s decision.
Gordon Hayward free agency
Hayward’s former team provides less of a threat than you would think.
Hayward is drawn to Utah because it is the place where his wife is and his kids have grown up. He has been in Utah all of his seven years in the league.
However, Hayward openly said that if George Hill was signed by the Jazz, he would strongly consider coming back.
Ricky Rubio was then traded for in the following days leaving Hill on the outs. Hayward then proceeded to opt out of his contract with the Jazz in response.
Ultimately for Hayward it might be time to leave behind Utah and the loaded Western Conference.
The Miami Heat are the team that could possibly use Hayward the most. The Heat had the lowest point total of any position at Small Forward last year.
They have an established point guard in Goran Dragic and low post threat in Hassan Whiteside. They are just lacking the consistent shooter on the outside that could be provided with the signing of Hayward.
A draw for Hayward to the Heat is that there aren’t any state income taxes, meaning Hayward’s contract would technically be worth more because he doesn’t lose as much money to taxes.
He also would be coached by NBA champion, Erik Spoelstra, which is the only coach of the three that has won an NBA title.
The Heat seemed to be a sleeper to land Hayward originally, but I think they are more appealing than originally thought.
The Celtics are the most visually appealing to Hayward. If he wants to contend for a championship, the Celtics are the team to sign with.
They are the reigning one seed in the Eastern Conference and just added Jayson Tatum, the number three draft pick.
Hayward would be playing alongside All-Star Isaiah Thomas as well as other key players.
He also has a strong connection to head coach Brad Stevens. Stevens coached Hayward at Butler University for two years and had extreme success going 59-11 together, and finishing runner-up in the 2009 National Championship.
One of the only negatives is Jae Crowder is still around. Splitting time with a solid player in Crowder may be hard to overcome for Hayward.
Where Hayward Will Land
Realistically, if Hayward really likes it in Utah then he might not go anywhere. If he is interested in contending and winning for a legendary city, then Boston is his place.
When it’s all said and done, the Celtics have the best team on paper and seem to be a great fit for him. In a league that’s all about getting paid, and winning rings, Hayward will likely take a little less money to be with a team that’s ready to contend right away.
Hayward will have to move past the fact that he doesn’t like Tom Brady, because when it’s all said and done he might just be sharing the spotlight with him.