This should not be a surprise — everyone remembers their college friends fondly and wants to reconnect. (Except for your freshman dorm roommate.)
Gordon Hayward has a lot of fans in front offices around the NBA because he has a versatile game that could be plugged into nearly any team and system. The restricted free agent averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists last season for the Jazz, can score in the paint and on the perimeter, can create his own shot, is a good defender, and is moderately efficient. He’s a little of a “jack of all trades master of none” if you want to nit-pick, but a lot of teams could use him.
Probably nobody would know how to use him better than Boston’s Brad Stevens — he coached Hayward at Butler. Stevens has reached out, according to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Herald.
Have been told that both Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have contacted Utah’s Gordon Hayward. #Celtics
Hayward certainly would be an upgrade over the inconsistent Jeff Green at the three for Boston. No doubt.
All this college reunion talk is nice, but what matters is money.
The Phoenix Suns are reportedly considering a max offer for Hayward and the Jazz have said they would match. Whether they mean that or are just making that public to scare off potential bidders remains to be seen, but the price tag to get in the Hayward sweepstakes has been set.
Does Ainge want to throw all those chips into the pot and dare the Jazz to call over Hayward? That seems a steep price for the versatile forward. But go to what you consider a fair price and the Jazz likely just match.
Stevens may want Hayward but this is difficult to envision coming together.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
Buddy Hield: Vivek Ranadive told me at Kings-Pelicans games, ‘We’re still going to get you’