Waiting game begins for Celtics after wrapping up visit with Hayward

Waiting game begins for Celtics after wrapping up visit with Hayward

SALT LAKE CITY – The second leg of Gordon Hayward’s free agent tour is in the books as the 27-year-old All-Star will head out west for one last meeting with the Jazz.

On Saturday Hayward met with the Miami Heat, followed by Sunday’s sit-down in Boston with the Celtics.

His final visit will be with the Utah Jazz, but it won’t be here.

Instead, Hayward will reportedly host the Jazz at his home in San Diego.


You don’t want to read too much into that, but if you’re Miami and Boston you can’t feel all that great about the chances that he will bring them to his home to tell them he’s leaving.

Most likely, Hayward will listen to what the Jazz has to say and spend a couple of days mulling over the options that all three teams present to him.

His visit to Boston included a trip to Fenway Park along with some time spent with Boston’s All-Star tandem of Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford.

Of course, there was time spent with his old college coach Brad Stevens, who was there to pick him up at the airport.

And now begins the waiting game for Boston which has been totally transparent in being all-in for Hayward without a clear Plan B.

Boston was interested in trading for Paul George once they got word that Hayward would be coming aboard, but the Pacers didn’t want to wait so they instead traded George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo (a former college star at Indiana) and Domantas Sabonis.

The Celtics have expressed interest in Danilo Gallinari, arguably the best small forward on the free agent market after Hayward.

But like Hayward, the Celtics have stiff competition for the 6-foot-10 forward.

He was visiting with the Los Angeles Clippers this weekend who are reportedly trying to find a third team to execute a sign-and-trade for Gallinari who is coming off a season in which he averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting a shade under 40 percent from 3-point range.

Kevin Garnett predicts Marcus Morris' game-winner right before it happens

Kevin Garnett predicts Marcus Morris' game-winner right before it happens

Kevin Garnett was paying close attention to Tuesday night's thriller between the Celtics and Thunder.

MORE - Blakely's stars, studs, and duds from C's-Thunder

On KG's Area 21, the former Celtics great watched as Boston rallied in the game's final minute to make a stunning comeback. Right before Marcus Morris drilled the game-winner, Garnett called it by saying, "The Morris twin will end up shooting this or something because he like 'yeah I'm about the moment'"

Not a bad call. Morris certainly was "about the moment" Tuesday night as he has been multiple times this season.


Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum had another strong performance for the Boston Celtics, doing so against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul George, a player Tatum has acknowledged on more than one occasion he has looked up to. 

That admiration didn’t get in the way of Tatum delivering a big-time performance in helping Boston rally from six points down with 12.7 seconds to play, to knock off the Thunder 100-99.

Tatum tallied a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. And doing so at 20 years and 17 days old, Tatum became the youngest player in franchise history to tally at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game.

“It feels good,” Tatum said when asked about his first 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound game in the NBA. “But honestly, I’m just glad we won. That was a big win against a great team and it was fun playing out there today.”

Impacting the game on multiple levels offensively along with being a defensive and rebounding force are qualities often associated with George who became familiar with Tatum prior to last June’s NBA draft which is when the Celtics selected him with the third overall pick. 

“I reached out to him before he was coming into this draft and I got to talk to him,” said George, who had 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against the Celtics. “It’s an honor when you see young talent. I‘ve been inspired by many in this league so it’s great to inspire the younger generation in this league.”

And while Tatum may be young, he continues to prove himself up for whatever challenges await him. 

“We are going to keep throwing to the wolves and keep going to him in those moments,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Boston closed out the game with an 8-1 spurt in the final 24.7 seconds, with Tatum either scoring or assisting on five of those points which includes assistant on Marcus Morris’ game-winner.

Tatum’s composure down the stretch comes from being influenced by many, including George who considers it “an honor” that Tatum holds him in high regard. 

“At the end of the day, us veteran guys want the younger guys to take the game further and advance much farther than what I was,” George said. “There’s going to be kids looking up to Jayson (Tatum) that are probably already looking up to Jayson (Tatum).”