Should The Celtics Trade Gordon Hayward???

You can only point the finger at so many people for the Celtics nightmarish season until you’re blue in the face. Except I know who is to blame and I will blame those said peoples until I am blue in the face. Is it because of jealously that the following people I claim to bare the brunt of the blame for living far more fulfilling lives. Why yes. What I would give to be as rich as Gordon Hayward or to live my dream of playing for the Celtics even if I am as bad as Terry Rozier if not more.

Needlessly to say I’ll be happy once Rozier is playing for another team. He’s a fine ball player. He just doesn’t fit in on the Celtics and their relationship continuing beyond this point is acting as a hinderance to all parties involved.

Unfortunately, Gordon Hayward is expected to be a Celtic for the next two-seasons. Barring a spectacular return to form it is all but assured the rehabbing All-Star will opt-in his 2020 player-option to stay with the club at an over $30 million price tag. We shouldn’t blame him. Not just for wanting to cash in his next check, but also for his inability to play up to the dollar figures Danny Ainge signed the once coveted free agent to in the summer of 2017. You can point to the advance analytics all you want Hayward did not make good on the long leash Brad Stevens and the Celtics braintrust had him on to lead the Celtics in the postseason. It’s no secret the team was so much better when Hayward could contribute, which makes his poor season that more crushing.

All the chips were lined up it seemed for the Celtics to take that next step. Now as we embark on an off-season filled with uncertainty, if their superstar point guard does not wish to remain in Boston we are left with what could have been. Hayward’s injury reshaped NBA history and we have yet to see the complete ripple effects of it.

What is Boston to do? Can they trade away Hayward’s large contract in exchange for a prospect or a draft pick? Would it be wise? In most cases no. It be ridiculously reactionary to quit on Hayward in the hopes of gaining a little at risk of losing a lot. We don’t know if a summer of rehab is what’ll do the trick for the damaged Hayward and he’s already been put through the ringer in terms of getting his timing and feel for the game back. His mind seems all the way there, it’s just his body.

There is some scuttlebutt from those on the Celtics beat about the front office turning to Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal as a backup plan if trade talks with New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis fall through. I don’t buy this for a minute. It’s one of those stories produced in the rumor mills of Twitter solely for clicks. If the Wizards want to rebuild there are best to stay away from Hayward and can possibly do better than Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and some picks that are not the top-6 Memphis Grizzlies 2020 choice or the one that if the former rolls over to next year as an unprotected pick.

If you want to move Hayward so bad you’ll have to aim lower. Much lower. Let us traverse to the other side of the country and visit old friend Evan Turner. At age 30 Turner is an average player at best, but his obscenely large contract expires at the end of the 2019-20 season.

While his tenure in Portland hasn’t always been smooth, Turner’s 2018-19 campaign showed he can still contribute. Shooting a career high in field goal percentage (46%). The Celtics can have the Trailblazers toss in center Meyers Leonard as salary flotsam to help facilitate the deal giving the Celts needed big man depth behind Aron Baynes seeing as free agent Daniel Theis wasn’t a huge success.

Hayward was supposed to carry the offense when one of, or both of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford are on the bench acting as a Point-Forward for the offense. Maybe it’s all Terry Rozier’s fault and when Hayward is paired next less ball dominate players he’ll assume the role more affirmatively. Or maybe Hayward has zero confidence in himself and will never assert himself ever again…

Guess who isn’t short on confidence and can at least run an offense decently… “The Villain”

Kawhi Leonard: A Long Armed T-Rex

It didn’t matter LeBron James now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri was long fed up with this core of players that time and time again proved ineffective when the chips were down. As his competitors reload on talent, the Raptors could not afford to stand idle. The trade for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard pushes all the chips in the middle of the table; if it doesn’t work out then they’ll just rebuild. All this season costs them is a contract many perceived as immovable.

For who on the Raptors is to guard Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics, or the non-shooting threat “Point-Forward” Ben Simmons of Philadelphia? Not only does Kawhi Leonard answer that question, the acquisition of fellow Spur shooting guard Danny Green helps. Even though the last three-seasons the 6-6 versatile SG shot just 38.4% from the field, his defense has never wavered when healthy. A lanky 6-10 wingspan gives Green the ability to guard a variety of guards and small-forwards. This is a luxury Toronto’s never had prior.

There are of course many uncertainties that lay in this collection of talented athletes. Can Kyle Lowry, will turn 33 next March, prolong his decline that’s already taken place? His field goal percentage dropped from 46.4 in 2015-16 to 42.7; in the last 39 games of last season Lowry conceivably turned a corner but only raised his shooting percentage 0.1. Points per game down from 22.4 to 16.2, Toronto didn’t have to worry much about that because of dynamic scorer DeMar DeRozan carrying the workload on that end of the floor. New head coach Nick Nurse will have to come to grips that Lowry is not the same player as he was before and that 24-year-old Fred VanVleet is the starting point guard of the future. The sooner he realizes this the better.

Center Serge Ibaka is set to turn 29 in September. Already we’ve seen his decline in block-rate, but I’m more confident in him scrapping together one more quality season than I am in Lowry.

DeMar DeRozan is now a Spur. The most beloved Raptor is gone, thus closing the book on the strongest era of Raptors-basketball to date. This new era isn’t likely to last past this season, but it can be the most fruitful. Toronto’s sights are lower than Boston or Philly’s. All their modest fans want is an NBA Finals game in Canada, doesn’t matter if they are swept by the Warriors in the process. And it’s possible Kawhi gets them there.