Gordon Hayward’s arrival helps turn the Boston Celtics into contenders—and he might help them become a superteam of their own if he takes less money than expected.
Hayward chose the Celtics in free agency, leaving behind a good thing with the Utah Jazz after identifying another good thing.
So much so he might slash his own money to make a sign-and-trade work, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
This meshes with a report from Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune that Hayward and the two sides are open to a sign-and-trade deal:
League sources told The Tribune that Hayward and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, have agreed to help facilitate a sign-and-trade. Utah would sign Hayward to a new max deal, then send him to Boston in exchange for Crowder, who has just short of three years and $22 million remaining on his contract.
Hayward is an instant upgrade for the Celtics next to Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. What should scare the rest of the league, though, is if he chooses to take a pay cut allowing the team to add even more talent in the coming seasons while the Cleveland Cavaliers continue on a decline.
A selfless move like this wouldn’t come as a surprise from Hayward, who didn’t qualify for the super max in the first place with Utah. Taking a little less now for a shot at a ring and big contracts in the future seems to fit his approach so far.
It just so happens that this approach has a massive impact on the NBA’s hierarchy.