Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
He will return to Boston for further tests, but team officials are cautiously optimistic. It appeared to be a clean break, sources told Yahoo Sports, and while more tests will be needed to determine the extent of the damage, Hayward may have avoided something catastrophic.
Gordon Hayward arrived in Boston overnight and was taken to NE Baptist hospital for surgery. Other than that, we don’t have any official updates on his condition.
All of the early reporting hints the injury, while gruesome, is not career-threatening.
Mike Gorman added to the optimism by reporting there was no damage to ligaments or blood vessels.
So… is it possible for Hayward to return this season?
NBC Sports Boston interviewed a local surgeon last night who said it’s possible, if everything goes right, that Hayward could play in March. Dr. Jess Flynn, a contributor to Boston Sports Journal, writes it’s possible but unlikely.
While I’d love to see Hayward return for a playoff run, I’m doubtful. Now we wait and see how the players and front office respond:
“I just think it’s on the team,” Brown said. “We have to come together and play. We have a great coach in Brad Stevens so, at that point, it’s play for each other, play the game the right way, and we’ll be fine.”
There were other encouraging glimpses: Veteran big man Aron Baynes provided some grit off the bench; newly slimmed Marcus Smart feasted on Kyle Korver in the post to spark a third-quarter rally, and Al Horford did all his usual below-the-radar things to make the Celtics a better team when he was on the floor.
From the business side, ESPN Front Office Insider Bobby Marks notes that the Celtics will be able to apply for the disabled player exception. That would give them up to $8.4 million to pursue a player before March 10. With an open roster spot, the Celtics can sign, claim, or trade for a player with one-year remaining on his contract.
Jaylen Brown was spectacular last night. Sure, he struggled guarding LeBron James down the stretch, but who doesn’t? With Hayward out for an extended period of time, Brown will get a lot more looks on offense.
I’m not sure who the Celtics might target outside the organization. Gary Washburn referenced free agent Gerald Green, but I’m praying there’s someone a bit better available via trade.
On Page 2, what Jayson Tatum and Larry Bird have in common.
Tatum is the first Celtics rookie since Larry Bird to record a double-double in his debut.
No pressure, kid.
And finally, traveling does not apply to LeBron James.
I have one simple question: what the hell are the officials looking at?
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