The Boston Celtics have managed to pull the most coveted remaining free agent off the market and away from the Utah Jazz. While star forward Gordon Hayward had a tough decision on his hands, ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports that the former Jazz star has chosen to sign with the Celtics.
While having to make the tough decision or whether or not to leave the team who drafted him, Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports reported that Hayward was “genuinely torn” on the decision.
With Hayward now heading to the Celtics, here’s a look at the team’s updated roster and starting lineup, which obviously improves quite a bit with him added into the mix.
C: Al Horford, Ante Zizic
PF: Jordan Mickey, Semi Ojeleye
SF: Gordon Hayward, Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum
SG: Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Kadeem Allen, Jabari Bird
PG: Isaiah Thomas, Terry Rozier, Demetrius Jackson
Free Agents: Tyler Zeller, Jonas Jerebko, Kelly Olynyk (RFA), James Young, Gerald Green, Amir Johnson (signed with 76ers)
It’s hard to argue that with Hayward in the mix that the Celtics didn’t just close the gap on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hayward is fresh off the best season of his career in which he averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He should step in and add an extra scoring punch to the Celtics offense.
Hayward will now team back up with his former college coach Brad Steven, as the two led the Butler Bulldogs to a National Championship appearance back in 2010, but they fell just short against the Duke Blue Devils. It’s hard to envision that this wasn’t a major selling point for Hayward, as he and Stevens seem to still have a strong relationship even after their college days.
With that said, an interesting question still looms over the Celtics roster at the power forward position. The Celtics could opt to go with small ball quite a bit, or potentially make another move or two this offseason to try to add a power forward to the mix. One way or another, expect to see the Celtics add some depth at the power forward position before all is said and done.