Celtics Eyeing Gordon Hayward

February 19 at 3:49pm CDT By Chuck Myron

WEDNESDAY, 3:49pm: The Jazz aren’t interested in trading Hayward, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. League executives feel as though he’s in Utah’s long-term plans, unless the team lands a top-flight small forward in the draft this summer. Then, the Jazz may look for sign-and-trade offers for the soon-to-be restricted free agent. The lack of an agreement on an extension this fall isn’t a signal of waning affection on Utah’s part, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.

TUESDAY, 4:18pm: The Celtics have shown interest in acquiring Gordon Hayward, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Such a deal would reunited Hayward with college coach Brad Stevens, but it would be cumbersome to pull off, as Blakely explains. The Jazz don’t have interest in Rajon Rondo, because they don’t feel like they could re-sign him, and they’re not high on trading for Jeff Green, either. Utah would like at least one first-round draft pick, but Blakely hears the Celtics are “very reluctant” to give one up.

Boston is instead focused on acquiring more picks, according to Blakely, though the Celtics are also on the lookout for someone who can be a major part of the team’s rotation. Hayward, averaging 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists, would probably fit that bill.

Hayward will be a restricted free agent at season’s end after he and the Jazz failed to reach agreement on an extension this past fall. He makes $3.45MM in the final season of his rookie deal this year, but he’s in line for a significant raise. Still, a report from Chad Ford of ESPN.com earlier today noted that Utah is unlikely to trade Hayward, and the Jazz have plenty of cap flexibility to retain him.

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