By Michael LeDuc @mike_leduc on May 31, 2014
The Boston Celtics may be in for a huge offseason and signing Gordon Hayward would make that much more significant. Hayward is projected to earn anywhere from -14 million per year. It would be surprising if the Utah Jazz, who have plenty of cap space, did not match any offer for Hayward. Nevertheless, the Celtics should make a run at him. Here are five reasons why the Celtics should try to sign Hayward.
Since the Boston Celtics are rebuilding toward a championship, signing young players with a lot of potential is extremely wise. Hayward is only 24 years old and has a high ceiling. Signing Hayward would not only make the Celtics better this season, but for years to come.
Hayward is a bit streaky, but he's still a knock-down three-point shooter. He can catch-and-shoot, pull up and create his own shot. In 2013-14, he only shot 30 percent from deep, but can easily shoot over 40. Hayward has developed a nice mid-range jumper as well. Rajon Rondo would be able to create many opportunities for Hayward on offense.
At 6-foot-8, Hayward offers a lot of different options offensively. He can be a shooting guard because of his shooting ability, a small forward because of his good ball-handling skills and slashing ability and he can even be a stretch-four at the power forward position. He averaged 16.2 points per game and they were not all from perimeter shooting. This kid can put the ball on the floor and make things happen.
Hayward has underrated playmaking skills that sometimes get overlooked because of his scoring ability. He averaged 5.2 assists on a team with a limited amount of scorers. The 24-year-old isn't the best individual defender, but he plays solid team defense. His long arms disrupt passes, helping average 1.4 steals a game. He's also willing to sacrifice his body on the boards. He averaged 5.1 rebounds last season.
Hayward played for Brad Stevens at Butler almost five years ago. The two seem to feel adamant about each other's abilities to coach and play, respectively, and would not mind having a reunion. Stevens would undoubtedly get the best out of Hayward and make him a better player. Hayward is a perfect fit for the Boston Celtics.
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