Gordon Hayward 2020: C'mon baby, hold together!

djbayko

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It should help him immensely as he'll be able to get most of his leg strength back. He progressed a lot as last season wore on, but even at the end, he wasn't even close to being as springy as he was with the Jazz. I'm looking forward to his dunks not seeming to be a chore.
 

lexrageorge

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I don't want to derail the thread any further than it has been by posters with agendas other than just discussing hoops (not you) but I was reacting to a combination of comments in the Hayward thread as well as predictions about the team's win/totals and prospects next season. So my point wasn't entirely baseless - some posters seem pretty confident that Hayward will improve significantly next year, in addition to other players improving as well, as implied by their win totals. There are also comments to that effect in the actual Hayward thread. That said, my language was imprecise or incorrect. We now have a standard where we need to be very exacting in our takes or else we are going to have more diversions like this one - this is what the market wants apparently.

Back to the 76ers, their other signings are interesting as well with Kyle O'Quinn a decent bench upgrade while Raul Neto presumably takes some McConnell minutes. As others have stated, Zhaire Smith is the real X factor for this team - if he can make the leap and the other guys play at their expected levels, watch out.
I decided to bring this back to the Hayward thread rather than derailing the 76'ers thread any further.

The issue with the Hayward injury is that there is really little precedent to go on, unlike, say, ACL or Achilles injuries. Paul George is a common comp, but as others have rightfully pointed out, it's not a perfect one. PG's injury was different in type and degree, and PG was a true top tier player before he got hurt.

However, expecting some improvement from Hayward is not unrealistic. Last summer, he was recovering from a follow-on surgical procedure that occurred in June; he basically restarted his rehab at the start of training camp. Between having an extra year of recovery, a full summer of full strength workouts, and a being full year removed from his full season layoff, some improvement seems probably if not likely.

IMO, the open questions are (a) how much improvement will we see; and (b) how much impact that improvement will have on the Celtics. There seems to be some debate how good of a player Hayward was before he got hurt, and how well even a vintage Hayward will fit with the current Celtics team. I'm not as pessimistic as some, but not as optimistic as others either. And there is the fact that he will almost certainly still need maintenance days during the season; he needed 10 of those last season, and that's probably a realistic estimate for the coming season as well.

Anyway, my view is that if we more consistently see the glimpses of vintage Hayward that occasionally appeared last season, it would go a long way towards bumping the Celtics win totals closer to that magical 50 mark.
 

DJnVa

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Paul George is a common comp, but as others have rightfully pointed out, it's not a perfect one. PG's injury was different in type and degree, and PG was a true top tier player before he got hurt.
Year before injury:
PG 13/14: 21.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 42.4% from floor, 36.4% from three, 45.9% eFG, 55.5% TS, 28.3 usage
GH 16/17: 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 47.1% from floor, 39.8% from three, 53.6% eFG, 59.5% TS, 27.6 usage

This isn't to refute how good PG was, but those numbers are really close, and if we're gonna call PG "true top tier" at that point, it's fair to say GH wasn't far off from a strict production POV. There are obviously reasons to prefer PG--3 years younger, but neither dude was old at that point, so both conceivably had plenty of years of production ahead.
 

Euclis20

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Missing from your comparison is that PG made 1st team all defense that year, deservedly so. Hayward was a solid level below George pre-injury.
 

DJnVa

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Missing from your comparison is that PG made 1st team all defense that year, deservedly so. Hayward was a solid level below George pre-injury.
Good point--just don't know if everyone realizes how good on offense Hayward was that year.
 

ggreene

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If you look at GH's per36 stats for his peak season and last year. It's not as big of a gap as you might think. The one thing that hurt was his aggressiveness (around 4 less shots) and his 3 pt shooting (around -7%). According to reports he is doing his usual summer workout regimen. Perhaps with better leg strength that 3pt % goes back up as well as his general aggressiveness. I have no idea where he is physically or more importantly mentally, but it would not surprise me to see him post a 17/5/4 year in 32-36 mins. Probably wishful thinking to expect him to come all the way back to ~22PPG.
 

ggreene

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"continue building up his confidence"

Let's hope so because last year his confidence was largely missing. Hoping the foot/leg feels good and no mental blocks.
 

lexrageorge

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For a player coming back from a major injury, offseason workouts are critical. Hayward had few last year as he was recovering from a 2nd procedure on his ankle. There is reason for optimism if he can remain healthy; he missed only 10 games last season (5 fewer than Kyrie) despite a truncated offseason.
 

InstaFace

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Gordon Hayward is at Arthur Ashe stadium watching Nick Kyrgios in his 3rd-round match in the US Open. Apparently Kyrgios is a big basketball fan and big Celtics fan.
 

DJnVa

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Title underselling it--says 6 assists and 6 rebounds. It was 8 assists and 7 rebounds.
 

reggiecleveland

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He looked really good on the ball at the d end too.
I will admit I am excited, especially since the chemistry looks good between him and the young guns.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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As impressive as the scoring was I’m also very impressed with his rebounding. He’s averaging 7.5 boards/game so far which may fall off a bit since he’s at 4.2/game for his career but he didn’t have the athleticism last year to rebound the way he’s rebounded this year. The big offensive rebounds at the end of the Raptors game and the Cavs game stand out to me. He crashed from the corner and got up to get those. I don’t think he’s able to do that last season.
 

BigSoxFan

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If this is the Hayward we’re getting this year, things start to get very interesting. Celtics now have 4 guys who can pop off for 20+ points on a given night and have the assets to land a better center should one become available. And the team chemistry is like 10000x better. Really excited for this season.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I don’t know if the team has the same ceiling it did last year, but if Stevens can develop and optimize its depth, and they can play unselfishly and push the hot hand at the right times, they could be far more consistent. This is the kind of game they too frequently and frustratingly lost last year.

A good start to this season...
 

BigSoxFan

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I don’t know if the team has the same ceiling it did last year, but if Stevens can develop and optimize its depth, and they can play unselfishly and push the hot hand at the right times, they could be far more consistent. This is the kind of game they too frequently and frustratingly lost last year.

A good start to this season...
I would much rather have 2019 Kemba/Hayward over 2018 Kyrie/Hayward. The real question is what Ainge can do at center to cover for the Horford loss, which is significant. Good news is he has assets and moveable salaries in a little over a month. The timing allows him to see what he has and then make a move in Jan/Feb if it’s not working out.
 

NomarsFool

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So, here's a question for you experts in NBA cap dynamics: If Gordon opts out next summer, how would resigning him impact the team's ability to sign Tatum? And vice versa, how would extending Tatum (either next summer or the year after) impact the team's ability to resign Hayward?

In other words, can the Celtics spend whatever they want to keep both players?
 

lovegtm

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So, here's a question for you experts in NBA cap dynamics: If Gordon opts out next summer, how would resigning him impact the team's ability to sign Tatum? And vice versa, how would extending Tatum (either next summer or the year after) impact the team's ability to resign Hayward?

In other words, can the Celtics spend whatever they want to keep both players?
The Celtics retain Hayward’s Bird Rights if he opts out, meaning they can sign him to any deal allowable. Tatum’s extension would have no impact on that.

If Hayward opted out and the Celtics wanted to part ways with him, Tatum’s extension wouldn’t affect cap space next summer, since they’d finalize it after all other signings and it doesn’t kick in until the next year.

The real question is whether Hayward would take a discount after a good year to lock in more years and money.
 

bsan34

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I think to keep both Tatum (assuming it's 5/170 for him) and Hayward probably requires letting Smart go, unless Wyc is up for paying a massive luxury tax bill. At that point, you're at least looking at 2 years of 3 max contracts (Kemba, Hayward, Tatum) and Brown at ~25. Even if Hayward signs at a Brown like figure, you're talking 120 mill for just those 4.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Hayward is currently the second-most efficient high-volume scorer in the league (min. 20 pts per 36, min. 200 total minutes), after the GOAT:

True Shooting %
====

1. Paschall .682
2. Hayward .656
3. Lowry .656
4. Love .653
5. Booker .651
6. Ingram .645
7. Middleton .643
8. Antetokounmpo .639
9. Lillard .637
10. Brogdon .619
11. Mitchell .611
12. Irving .609
13. Doncic .605
14. Harris .603
15. Gallinari .602
 

lovegtm

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see Horford, Al
Yeah, I'm actually talking about something on the lines of Horford's Philly deal. Hayward is younger, and Horford got paid well under the max, with only a half-guaranteed final year. (To be clear, I was fine with not matching Philly's Horford offer).
 

NomarsFool

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Unfortunately for the Celtics, I don't think Horford and Gordon's situation are terribly similar. In his last year with the Celtics, they were already load managing him throughout the season. That is not a good situation to be in to have a big with cranky knees and signing to a long-term deal. Gordon is 3 years younger, and aside from his freak injury, doesn't seem to be a particularly frail player. If he has a comeback player of the year type season this year, I think any team would see him as a reasonable investment. Of course, not many teams are going to have a slot for a max player - but I'm sure someone will. There will be no discount.
 

DJnVa

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There will be no discount.
But with the summer of 2021 potential FA bonanza, will there be team will to go where he wants in 2020?

The 20/21 cap was lowered to $116M--the Knicks, Raptors, Hawks, and Grizzlies all will have a lot of room. Hayward, one assumes, will want to go to a team with a chance at making a deep run. Of those 4, only Toronto potentially fits that bill. But he'd be leaving a team that could be better than Raps are.
 

NomarsFool

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The flip side is there are few big-name FAs next summer. So, if a team wants to add a big name player, there aren't many options. Next summer is a seller's market.
 

DJnVa

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The flip side is there are few big-name FAs next summer. So, if a team wants to add a big name player, there aren't many options. Next summer is a seller's market.
True. But teams will fool themselves (I'm looking at you Knicks) into thinking the top tier guys in 2021 will be options. And will teams willing to overpay in 2020 (say the Hawks) be somewhere a guy like Hayward wants to go?

But, whatever--we have what seems to be an exciting season ahead of us now. And shit changes quickly, so I'm just going to enjoy it.
 

benhogan

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Yeah, I'm actually talking about something on the lines of Horford's Philly deal. Hayward is younger, and Horford got paid well under the max, with only a half-guaranteed final year. (To be clear, I was fine with not matching Philly's Horford offer).
yea, we all talked about extending Horford at a discount last year. I was pretty off on the amount/years on what he received from Philly. Pretty sure no one around here had Al getting the Sixer deal (think it also caught Danny by surprise)

Jaylen will be a good 4 this season and probably turn into a great one as he gets stronger down the road. So the Horford hit isn't as dramatic as first thought. And I've re-thought on how the Celtics should budget/pay for Centers.

Can we really keep KW, Jaylen, Tatum, Hayward plus Smart at $12MM and have a roster?
As we all know, there just isn't much talent available this summer.
 
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BigSoxFan

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Has anyone watched Bamba this year? Seems to only be getting about 12-15 MPG and numbers aren't popping out yet but I like his potential more than TL.
 

Smokey Joe

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Has anyone watched Bamba this year? Seems to only be getting about 12-15 MPG and numbers aren't popping out yet but I like his potential more than TL.
Remembered from the recent Hollinger-Duncan podcast.

“Do you think that Orlando is ready to cut their losses on Mo Bamba?”
“I watched his last game. He looked totally lost out there.”
“If he hadn’t been injured at the end of last year, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs.”

So I think he would be available, but I don’t think Danny would bite.
 

djbayko

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I"m officially excited.

Didn't get to watch this game live but just watched the highlights. It isn't the fact that Haward scored 39 points. He had a few big scores last season too. It's how he looked - definite shades of Utah. Last season, even towards the end of the year, it always looked to me like Gordon was wearing lead shoes. He couldn't get much leap, and he had great difficulty driving or cutting by anybody. Last night, he was bouncing all over the court, and it was a joy to watch. It looks like, as we had hoped, him finally having an offseason for strength and conditioning is paying big dividends in his recovery.
 

BigSoxFan

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Remembered from the recent Hollinger-Duncan podcast.

“Do you think that Orlando is ready to cut their losses on Mo Bamba?”
“I watched his last game. He looked totally lost out there.”
“If he hadn’t been injured at the end of last year, they wouldn’t have made the playoffs.”

So I think he would be available, but I don’t think Danny would bite.
Yikes. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
 

Strike4

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Last season, even towards the end of the year, it always looked to me like Gordon was wearing lead shoes.
He also is not a player who I would call "explosive" in this regard. Not a knock on him, he has more of the Paul Pierce slipping-through-the-defenders aspect.
 

benhogan

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I"m officially excited.

Didn't get to watch this game live but just watched the highlights. It isn't the fact that Haward scored 39 points. He had a few big scores last season too. It's how he looked - definite shades of Utah. Last season, even towards the end of the year, it always looked to me like Gordon was wearing lead shoes. He couldn't get much leap, and he had great difficulty driving or cutting by anybody. Last night, he was bouncing all over the court, and it was a joy to watch. It looks like, as we had hoped, him finally having an offseason for strength and conditioning is paying big dividends in his recovery.
Gordan has a really nice Euro step/deliberate flow to his drives that can be very effective. It won't appear as explosive, but his floaters/step backs in the lane are very balanced.

Gordon's commitment to stay in Boston this offseason to train/condition was smart. Last season he had surgery in the Summer and was in recovery mode, not strength building prior to the season. Rushing Gordon into the starting lineup/big minutes to begin last season was unnecessary which led to his eventual benching and bad team morale. That was the first of several bad decisions by Brad last season with his rotations, but it appears that he has learned and adjusted this year.

Gordon's re-emergence as a scorer gives the Celtics four excellent offensive alphas (Tatum, Kemba, Brown, Gordon) that Brad can mix/match with different rotations. When healthy, I'd like to see two of those players on the floor at all times.
 
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djbayko

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He also is not a player who I would call "explosive" in this regard. Not a knock on him, he has more of the Paul Pierce slipping-through-the-defenders aspect.
I’m obviously talking comparatively. I know the player he was in Utah and I saw his lead shoes last year. But he was pretty damn explosive in Utah and looked similar the other night
 

bakahump

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amazing how similar many of those look to the play he got hurt on. (coming from the right of the basket oop)
 

NomarsFool

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So, here's an interesting wrinkle in all this: if Hayward continues to play at this level, does that open up some very interesting trade possibilities come January?

He's no longer a distressed asset. I'm not talking salary dump, but would it make sense to move Hayward for a center of equal ability? Right now, the Celtics five best players are (in no particular order): Tatum, Hayward, Brown, Walker, Smart.

It certainly is worth a conversation to think, do you trade one of Tatum/Brown/Hayward for a legit center? Fansided had an article talking about Myles Turner, Andre Drummond, or Steven Adams
 

slamminsammya

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People maybe dont think of him as explosive becayse of how scrawny he was in college but the dude was one of the most fearsome dunkers in transition in the NBA when he was in Utah.
 

Jimbodandy

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So, here's an interesting wrinkle in all this: if Hayward continues to play at this level, does that open up some very interesting trade possibilities come January?

He's no longer a distressed asset. I'm not talking salary dump, but would it make sense to move Hayward for a center of equal ability? Right now, the Celtics five best players are (in no particular order): Tatum, Hayward, Brown, Walker, Smart.

It certainly is worth a conversation to think, do you trade one of Tatum/Brown/Hayward for a legit center? Fansided had an article talking about Myles Turner, Andre Drummond, or Steven Adams
No way Ainge trades any of those guys for Drummond or Adams.

Turner is an interesting player.