Boston Celtics fans everywhere are trying not to panic. Not only is Kyrie Irving all but gone, now it sounds as if Al Horford is on his way out as well. However, they do still have Gordon Hayward. You might want to laugh but just listen. There is still some hope for Boston fans. Irving leaving could just be the best thing to happen to Hayward.
What Happened to Gordon Hayward?
After signing a deal with the Boston Celtics two offseasons ago, things were looking promising for Hayward. He was about to become one of the first options on a contender in the Eastern Conference and was a legitimate threat to LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers team at the time. However, as most of us know, the first regular season game saw Hayward’s Boston debut end in turmoil. The Butler sensation broke his leg and would have to start a long and grueling process to recovery.
Fast forward to last year and Hayward was back on the court. Many like to say this past season was a down year for Gordon Hayward. However, the man was coming off a broken leg and had not played a game in a whole year. He averaged 11.5 points per game and also grabbed 4.5 rebounds per game.
Sure, these numbers are nothing compared to his last year in Utah where he scored 21.9 points per game on a true shooting percentage of 59.5%. However, he was getting used to a new system while having to share the floor with a young Boston Celtics core and Kyrie Irving. Now that Irving is gone, Hayward has an opportunity to regain some flashes of his old All-Star self.
Looking Forward for Gordon Hayward
Remember, it took Paul George about a year to bounce back from his gruesome leg injury. Yes, I know Hayward is not on the same level as Paul George, so put the pitchforks down. However, it is worth noting that certain injuries take time to fully recover from, especially in the NBA. He may never be what he once was and that’s okay. As long as he can be efficient and still find ways to help his team, he will have a place in this league.
Boston may not make Hayward a go-to threat on offense. They still possess Jayson Tatum who has shown he can score at will. The team may also decide to just do it collectively as an offensive unit too. Regardless, Gordon Hayward’s role will now be bigger. He should be excited. When he was the go-to option in Utah, his best year saw him put up numbers of 21.9 points, 3.5 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game. He also shot nearly 40% from deep and had an offensive rating of 118 while making his first All-Star team. Bear in mind, Hayward made this All-Star team in the West that year. He may not put up those same numbers, but he will have a larger role on the Boston Celtics in the 2019-2020 NBA season.