Gordon Hayward

Report: Gordon Hayward’s college coach Brad Stevens of Celtics reaches out to free agent


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.

And the interest is mutual, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

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.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.