Boston Celtics: B/R continues to peddle Gordon Hayward to Jazz deal

In Bleacher Report’s latest trade piece, writer Grant Hughes continues to peddle the Boston Celtics trade that lands Rudy Gobert in exchange for Gordon Hayward.

The trade rumor mill keeps on spinning, and the Boston Celtics, like always, are intertwined in the festivities.

For months now, we here at the Houdini have been trying to figure out ways in which the Cs can better position themselves for a run at glory come as soon as the 2020-21 campaign. One of the main ways in which we believe this would best be done is by addressing the team’s lackadaisical center rotation.

Through countless trade proposals, we’ve managed to find ways for Boston to bring aboard some very talented big men to hold down the pivot spot, with names including the likes of Mo Bamba and Myles Turner. Perhaps the biggest name at the position we’ve seen linked to the shamrocks has been Utah Jazz All-Star center, Rudy Gobert.

Naturally, we at HH have compiled our own trade packages to help expedite this potential move. That said, we are most certainly not the only publication to take a stab at such a feat.

Most recently, we saw Bleacher Report propose a trade between the Boston Celtics and the Utah Jazz that brings Gobert and two other depth-fillers to the TD Garden in exchange for 3 first-round picks, Daniel Theis, and the final year of the former Jazz star himself, Gordon Hayward.

The trade:

Celtics Get
Rudy Gobert
Ed Davis
Miye Oni
Jazz Get
Gordon Hayward
Daniel Theis
No. 14 pick (via MEM), No. 26 pick
2023 first-round pick (top-three protected)

In the piece entitled Simple NBA Trades That Could Change Everything, writer Zach Buckley goes on to state that Gobert in green and white would be that physical answer to combat the dominant bigs of the Eastern Conference such as Bam Adebayo.

He’s a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and one of only two players with career marks of a 21.0 rebound percentage and 5.0 block percentage. While his offensive range is limited, he just paced the Association in screen assists and ranked in the 72nd percentile as a pick-and-roll screener, so it’s not like he’s a one-way contributor.

But he’ll need a new contract by 2021, and maybe he wants more than Utah is Willing to spend. Boston might balk at a massive number, too, but it’s worth executing the trade to see if it’s the last piece of the Celtics’ puzzle.

If the Jazz don’t want to pay Gobert, this would give them an escape option that includes a former All-Star, a plug-and-play center and three draft picks. If Utah deems that the right decision, then it shouldn’t worry about whatever awkwardness might initially come with Hayward’s return, since he left the franchise at the alter in 2016.

Hayward could take some playmaking and scoring responsibilities off of Donovan Mitchell’s plate, plus he can handle multiple assignments at the other end. Theis could fit fine as a starter or work off the bench if Tony Bradley is ready to take over. In addition to the draft considerations, Utah would also get out of paying Ed Davis’ $5 million salary in 2020-21 and send out Miye Oni to make the money work.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, the idea of Rudy Gobert coming to the Boston Celtics is one that we believe to be something that could thrust Beantown into instant title-contender status. That said, the idea of any trade package involving Gordon Hayward heading back to Utah is simply a pipe dream and, in turn, would likely never happen.

During his seven-year stay in Salt Lake City, it was evident that the small forward was always interested in greener pastures — pun not intended. From his signing of a contract offer-sheet with the Charlotte Hornets in the summer of 2014 — which was obviously matched by the Jazz — to his “worst kept secret” of being interested in teaming up with his college coach, Brad Stevens, in Boston all throughout the 2016-17 season, it was evident that Hayward’s heart was never fully invested in Utah, so why would the organization want to bring him back yet again?

It is quite a shame, however, as the idea of the former All-Star going back to where his NBA journey began to become the veteran leader and second-option behind current face of the franchise Donovan Mitchell could prove to be a serious problem for all other opponents.

A lineup of Mike Conely, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Gordon Hayward, and Daniel Theis (or whomever they choose in the upcoming draft) would rival many of the other top-tier cores in the Western Conference and, likely, would strengthen their odds of a deep postseason run come next season.

On the flip side, this deal would bring to Boston the most dominant big to grace the franchise since the days of Kevin Garnett which, according to many familiar with the team, is their biggest weakness that needs filling.

This trade would be a true win-win scenario in our book. If only Utah would be willing to let the past go.