The unfinished business he had with coach Brad Stevens (they lost the NCAA championship game on a Hayward miss at the buzzer, when they were together at Butler University), was the deciding factor in signing with the Boston Celtics. Who could blame a person who wants to reunite with his former coach, that is now coaching an NBA team instead of a college team. Not many players ever got that chance, so I say; well deserved Gordon Hayward!
And with this move, we have a new “big three” in the East and a team that that was never built better for competing with the Cleveland Cavaliers till this moment. I say ‘till this moment’ on purpose, because the Celtics, because of the signing of Hayward, have to renounce the rights to Kelly Olynyk, Gerald Green and three other bench players. And if that is not enough, they also have to trade either Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley or Jae Crowder to make it work salary cap wise. That for sure will cut off their depth of the roster. I think Avery Bradley will be traded because he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. They simply can’t afford to give him a max contract since a certain guy named Isaiah Thomas also will be an unrestricted free agent that same year. So I am curious how all this plays out.
Utah got another big blow (it was somehow expected he would leave, because of Rubio signing): George Hill is going to the Sacramento Kings, and Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzles is joining him. Utah hoped that with Rubio singing they could convince Hayward to stay (he has indicated several times he would love to play with him), and could take a gamble not to make the signing of George Hill a priority. Now that both players are gone, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert are the cornerstones of a rebuilding franchise.
The Clippers got Danilo Gallinari in a three-team trade that sent Jamal Crawford to the Hawks and Denver got a draft pick (there were also cash considerations for the Hawks in this deal). I think Gallinari is a perfect fit for the Clippers, and instead of going small, they can present a big lineup that is also able to stretch the floor. Jamal Crawford will likely seek a buyout, but he has to give up a big chunk of his salary to the Hawks. I am not sure he will do this because this was the first big contract he signed since playing in the NBA.
Taj Gibson is leaving the OKC Thunder to join the Minnesota Timberwolves, which is a huge deal! They now got another experienced power forward to play next to Karl-Anthony Towns. The Wolves will be contenders in 1 or 2 years in my opinion.
With all of this said, I hope that Chris Bosh who was finally waived by the Miami Heat after 18 months of going back and forth over his health, can play again in the NBA.
Although most of the big names are signed, plenty still can happen.
The Carmelo effect for example ;)