Alright, so it’s confirmed. The Players’ Tribune piece has been published. Twitter can relax. Rumors and reports can die down. Jazz fans can go back to being angry. Celtics fans can go back to celebrating. Everyone else can go back to eating hot dogs.
How great is it that a superstar switching teams isn’t dramatic enough for the NBA? We need a tsunami of confusion and false hope. We need six hours of added chaos.
But the final verdict is in, Gordon Hayward will be joining the Boston Celtics (and there are no take backs!). With several superstars moving West this summer, it makes sense that Gordon flocked to the opposite coast.
- Hayward was one of the only players on the Jazz who could put the ball in the basket. Consequently, he averaged 15.8 shot attempts per game, 3.4 more than the next guy in line. New story in Boston, where there are several scorers already in the mix. I doubt Gordon will average more than the 22 points he did in 2016-17, or see 34.5 minutes a night for that matter. Keep in mind the Celtics also have Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum, who all technically play Hayward’s position. I imagine slight dips or insignificant boosts in most statistical categories, except maybe rebounds. Al Horford isn’t exactly a DeAndre Jordan in the paint, which is one of the reasons Boston ranked 26th on the boards last season. Expect Hayward, an athletic 6-8 forward, to help out there. With Isaiah Thomas demanding attention, I could also see Gordon’s total three-pointers increasing.
- Speaking of IT, the little guy almost definitely won’t average 29 points again. Still, his value as a fantasy point guard might very well improve. Let me explain. Isaiah can only be used as a PG in standard leagues. Ideally, those roster spots are reserved for guys who deliver more than 5.9 assists per game, unless you are punting that category altogether. This is under the general assumption that you can plug in a volume scorer at shooting guard or small forward (think Tim Hardaway Jr. type), but not a guy who racks up assists. I believe the 5.9 mark should surge in the upcoming season.
- RODNEY HOOD time. I’m serious about this. No Hill. No Hayward. That’s 38 points per contest. Iso Joe will pick up some slack, but I expect Rodney to really take over. The shots will be there, as will the incentive (he’ll be a free agent next summer). It’s the perfect storm. BUY Rodney.
- Keep an eye on Jazz rookie Donavon Mitchell. He’s a versatile guard who could get real minutes.
- I made fun of Danny Ainge and the Celtics when they missed out on George and Butler. I feel like a fool now. That is all.