NBA Rumors: Gordon Hayward heading to Boston in free agency? Celtics reveal No. 1 offseason target

PHOTOGRAPH: TonyTheTiger/Wikimedia Commons | Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz

Gordon Hayward is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Utah Jazz to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. After failing to make it to the All-NBA team, Hayward will reportedly consider entertaining other offers this summer. According to the latest report, the Boston Celtics will go “really hard” after Hayward in the upcoming free agency.

Hayward is one of the superstars who failed to be included in the All-NBA team on Thursday. Had he made any of the three team, he will be eligible to sign a designated player extension in 2018 worth approximately $210 million over five years. As of now, Hayward is assured to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

NBA Rumors: Gordon Hayward to Boston Celtics

After acquiring the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the Boston Celtics are in a strong position to trade for a superstar this summer. Paul George and Jimmy Butler emerged as the top trade target for the East No. 1 seed. However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Celtics’ No. 1 focus this summer is signing Hayward in free agency.

“Boston is really focused on trying to get Gordon Hayward from Utah in free agency. So why trade assets to get Jimmy Butler when you think you might have a chance at Hayward in the summer, where they have the cap space to sign him in and you don’t have to trade anything. So Boston could possibly know closer to the draft where they stand with Gordon Hayward,” Woj said.

Last summer, the Celtics have been eyeing to acquire a superstar on their team. After signing Al Horford, they tried to get Kevin Durant but failed. Hayward will undeniably be a great addition to the Celtics’ roster. Having him next season will strengthen their chance of contending for the title.

Hayward has shown a massive improvement in his game this season, averaging 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 47.1 percent shooting. If the Celtics are serious about signing him, they could offer him approximately $132 million over four years.

Celtics drafting Markelle Fultz if Gordon Hayward heads to Boston

As Woj notes, the Celtics will know before the 2017 NBA draft whether they could acquire Hayward or not. If Hayward signs with the Celtics, there is a higher possibility that they will use the No. 1 overall pick to draft Markelle Fultz. Isaiah Thomas recently had a conversation with Fultz about playing together in Boston next season.

Photo courtesy: TonyTheTiger/Wikimedia Commons

Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins

ALSO READ: NBA Rumors – Paul Pierce suggests Celtics should trade No. 1 pick for Paul George or Jimmy Butler

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