Five biggest factors for C's signing Hayward
Five biggest factors for C's signing Hayward
SALT LAKE CITY -- In his announcement on Player's Tribune, Gordon Hayward listed some of the reasons why he was leaving Utah for Boston -- the city's winning culture, the "amazing potential" of the Celtics, his relationship with coach Brad Stevens dating back to their days together at Butler.
A few days ago, we cited five factors that might attract Hayward to the C's. Here they are again, with a look at whether or not they actually played a part in making Hayward a Celtic.
5. Fan Base
WHAT WE SAID THEN: You talk to enough NBA players who have been around the league for a while, and they will tell you that Utah is one of those places that’s always tough to play at. Blame it on the altitude change. But just as important is their fan base which remains solid during good and bad teams. Unlike Boston which has four sports all season, the Jazz are it as far as major professional sports and that in itself produces a pretty zealous fan base. But Celtics Nation ranks among the best in the league, evident by players often acknowledging their impact on games. And Hayward, to the disdain of Jae Crowder earlier this season, already won over many Celtics supporters even while wearing a Jazz uniform. Just imagine how they would flock to him if he actually played for the Celtics?
DID IT MATTER? Based on what he said about the "winning culture of Boston, as a city", we can say it did,
WHAT WE SAID THEN: The Utah Jazz can offer Hayward the most years and the most money. And while it may not be the most important factor in his decision, it is a significant consideration nonetheless. Hayward fully understands that his value as an NBA player may not get any higher than it is right now. He’s 27 years old which for most NBA players, is when they are in their prime as a player. It is also a prime time when it comes to their earning power. Regardless of where he signs, Hayward is going to get the maximum amount allowed, an opportunity Hayward understands does not come around every day.
DID IT MATTER? He may not have gotten as much as if he'd stayed with the Jazz, but the deal -- as expected -- is lucrative: A league source told CSNNE.com it's a four-year, $127.8 million deal that will likely include a player option after the third season, which would allow him to pursue another huge contract in free agency at age 30.
3. Brad Stevens
WHAT WE SAID THEN: While there are many who want to believe that this is the absolute number one reason Hayward is interested in Boston, that’s just not the case. There is a tremendous amount of love and respect between these two men, for sure. It’s the kind of bond that forms when you have the kind of unprecedented success these two have had, and that success leads you to being right here, in the NBA and at the top of your respective game in relation to the league. But if the Celtics were a bottom-feeder team in the NBA with a front-office seemingly lacking direction, there would be no visit for Hayward to Boston other than to catch a game at Fenway or a pitstop on the way to Cape Cod. While it certainly helps that they have the kind of bond that formed at Butler, there are other factors that were even more instrumental to Boston being in the position it is in to land the coveted free agent.
DID IT MATTER? You bet. Hayward concluded his Player's Tribune by saying he and Stevens still have unfinished business from their time at Butler: To win a championship, which barely eluded them in 2010.
2. Featured role
WHAT WE SAID THEN: Hayward has been the best player on the Utah Jazz roster since he has been in the NBA. Whatever team he plays for, they will have to be clear about how they plan to utilize his skills and how those skills would benefit the team and lead to lots of victories. This is where the Miami Heat really become an intriguing option because of the three teams he is considering, they would appear to be best suited to accomplish this because of the void they have in terms of scoring the ball. Joining the Celtics with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford would be an adjustment, for sure. But their presence could make Hayward and even more lethal threat offensively because of the attention those two all-stars will draw on a nightly basis.
DID IT MATTER? Only Hayward knows for sure and he's not telling . . . yet. And he may never. But he had to know the "amazing potential" of the Celtics wasn't going to be realized unless they added at least one more scorer. He certainly fits that bil.
1. Title contender
WHAT WE SAID THEN: Hayward is no different than most of the top players in the NBA in having a desire to compete for the highest honors. He has proven himself to be one of the better players in the league. The next hurdle is clear: win a title. And in talking to folks around him, a chance to compete for a championship – not just one year but consistently – is what he’s looking for in choosing a team. If that’s the case, the Celtics should be the favorite to land him which would be a major get for an offseason that up to this point, hasn’t gone as planned.
DID IT MATTER? Since the first thing he mentioned when talking about what lured him to Boston was the city's "winning culture" and the Celtics' "special history", you have to believe it did.