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

NomarsFool

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I was in your camp this past summer (wanted Danny to try and add Turner or Sabonis) but my position has evolved.

Who is the 5 equally as talented as Hayward?
They exist, but nothing that is a realistic trade target. I'd still argue that in the playoffs especially, it's really helpful to be able to have your 5 best players on the court at the same time. That isn't the case with the Celtics as currently constructed. I agree, I am thrilled with the production they have gotten out of Theis and Kanter - much better than I think any of us would have expected. But, in the final minutes of the close out game of the ECF, I'm going to be annoyed to see one of Smart, Hayward, or Brown on the bench because we need to have a big out there.
 

nighthob

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Out of curiosity, if GS were to execute a sign-trade involving DLo and a third team to try to slot Hayward in with Steph, Klay & Draymond, what kind of a package would you be looking for from that third team? Would, say, MitchRob + Randle + Knicks picks or Covington + Dieng + Wolves picks have any appeal?
The Knicks can get far enough under the cap to swallow Mr DARcy’s deal outright, so picks plus a TPE > picks + {insert random Knicks player(s) here}. Minnesota is far less appetizing because all they really have is Covington and mid firsts (in the future), and they’d probably want to hold on to Covington adding a defensive player like Russell.

So with the T’wolves either Culver or whoever they pick in the 2020 draft would need to be added to some unprotected Minnesota picks and they’d need to talk the Knicks into trading a first for Mr.DrewWiggins in order to make any deal palatable. Because then they’d at least have a TPE and the potential to make a blockbuster trade to round out the roster for a 2021 NBA Final showdown with the Warriors.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I can't think of another athlete where in the span of a week the majority of the board (not all!) shift in sentiment from this guy is a negative that we can't dump and we're screwed to oh my god if he keeps this up he's going to opt out and we're screwed. If we smooth it all out, he's probably where most of us hoped his upside was coming back from the major injury. If he's going to keep improving then we should definitely get excited. I'm just so happy this team is back to being so fun to watch that I pull up a laptop to stream games even if I'm doing something else. Such a big difference as a fan from where we were at the end of last season and beginning of the off-season.
It's a league of opportunity. Hayward has played great these past 3 games without Tatum around to consume touches so he's been back in his Utah system days when he knows the offense is running though him each time up the floor. If my memory is correct this has also been the case in other games when one of Tatum/Brown are out......and further shows how awful last seasons roster compilation was when you also had Morris and Rozier with the ball in their hands in addition to Tatum/Brown.
 

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They exist, but nothing that is a realistic trade target. I'd still argue that in the playoffs especially, it's really helpful to be able to have your 5 best players on the court at the same time. That isn't the case with the Celtics as currently constructed. I agree, I am thrilled with the production they have gotten out of Theis and Kanter - much better than I think any of us would have expected. But, in the final minutes of the close out game of the ECF, I'm going to be annoyed to see one of Smart, Hayward, or Brown on the bench because we need to have a big out there.
There is a counter argument to this: there is only one ball. The 2 to 3 centers they have play a subordinate role in the offense. Not just the absence of plays run for them, but existing to screen, seal, rebound, garbage collect. If you put a 5 on the floor that was equally as talented as the others, it's a bigger ask (at least offensively) to play a subordinate game. So in as much as Theis/Kanter are operating within the team construct, they might belong on the court as a cohesive part of the top performing unit of 5, even if you wouldn't view them as a core part of the team, or an all-star candidate.
 

benhogan

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There is a counter argument to this: there is only one ball. The 2 to 3 centers they have play a subordinate role in the offense. Not just the absence of plays run for them, but existing to screen, seal, rebound, garbage collect. If you put a 5 on the floor that was equally as talented as the others, it's a bigger ask (at least offensively) to play a subordinate game. So in as much as Theis/Kanter are operating within the team construct, they might belong on the court as a cohesive part of the top performing unit of 5, even if you wouldn't view them as a core part of the team, or an all-star candidate.
+1

Can't have five offensive alpha's on the floor at once. You need a lunchpail/defense-first player that will defer to the 4 other offensive options.

It's one of the reasons Marcus Morris starting last season was a mistake. And bringing Kanter off the bench is very effective this year. Enis can be a top 3 scoring option when CBS puts lunchpail players like Wanamaker, Semi, Smart on the court with him.
 

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+1

Can't have five offensive alpha's on the floor at once. You need a lunchpail/defense-first player that will defer to the 4 other offensive options.

It's one of the reasons Marcus Morris starting last season was a mistake. And bringing Kanter off the bench is very effective this year. Enis can be a top 3 scoring option when CBS puts lunchpail players like Wanamaker, Semi, Smart on the court with him.
I agree 100%!
The Celts have three excellent players in that mode: Smart (who would be in the HOF if voters cared less about scoring and more about defense and all the vital little things), Williams, and Theis. I’d love it if they could add one more bench-level guy, like Kanter, who could generate offense from the second unit, preferably from the wing position.
Ironically, the Marcus Morris who’s not trying to earn a big contract is exactly the type of player they could use. A James Posey, a Scott Wedman, going back to championship teams gone by.
 

benhogan

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I agree 100%!
The Celts have three excellent players in that mode: Smart (who would be in the HOF if voters cared less about scoring and more about defense and all the vital little things), Williams, and Theis. I’d love it if they could add one more bench-level guy, like Kanter, who could generate offense from the second unit, preferably from the wing position.
Ironically, the Marcus Morris who’s not trying to earn a big contract is exactly the type of player they could use. A James Posey, a Scott Wedman, going back to championship teams gone by.
Brad has been pretty clever with rotations this season. He has tried to stagger Kemba, JT, JB, Hayward minutes so they always have 1-2 of them on the floor.

Hayward's play in the Miami game was extremely encouraging. He had some nice ISO drives from the top (albeit vs. Duncan Hines). I could see Brad layering GH's minutes against 2nd units more

Bjelica is my trade choice that could torch NBA 2nd units from deep
 

lovegtm

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Basically 100% of the 2020 free agent Centers: Favors, Gasol, Tristen Thompson, Ibaka, Biyombo, Mahinmi, Plumlee, Drummond, Whiteside will see pay cuts in a talentless free-agent market. No thanks on Love, Adams, Dieng, Dedmon or Aldridge.
...
Yup, there should be some vet available, and the Celtics system doesn't rely too much on center shooting, so that opens up options as well.

...
Fundamentally a lot of it comes down to whether you think that the Cs are legit championship contenders or at least conference championship ones. For me it's No and Maybe, which makes looking at next year without GH more palatable. If I were closer on the 2020 or bust end of the continuum, I'd loathe the idea of trading him.
Not to quibble too much on the bolded, but I think the Celtics match up better against the West than the East. If they are Maybe conference contenders, they're also Maybe championship contenders imo.

At the end of the day, I agree that there doesn't seem to be a great move at the moment, but it is important to keep in mind that the Kemba clock is ticking. They'll be lucky if he is this player on years 3/4 of the deal, and I doubt they re-sign him after that.
 

Jimbodandy

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At the end of the day, I agree that there doesn't seem to be a great move at the moment, but it is important to keep in mind that the Kemba clock is ticking. They'll be lucky if he is this player on years 3/4 of the deal, and I doubt they re-sign him after that.
I'm not trying to slow-walk the run. I just think that there are at least two teams that we can't beat in a 7 game series--this year. I'm much more bullish on next year and the one after.

But fuck it. Chances don't come around every year, and it's not fucking impossible.
 

DJnVa

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Hayward's last 7 games:

21.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 48.3% from three.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Hayward's last 7 games:

21.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 48.3% from three.
Really finding his groove again, especially finding that ability to stop on a dime and hit those short pull-ups that basically can't be defended. But also getting to the rim better to score or draw fouls. He's looking more and more like the guy who looked like our best player through the first couple weeks.
 

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Maybe they should bench the top 7 players through the all star game. Start Tacko, Grant WIlliams, Romeo, Wannamaker and Carson Edwards. Use the rest of the bench as rotation guys. I'd watch.
 

scottyno

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20-8-4 on 50-46-90% shooting in his last 10, and not coincidentally they've won 8 of them, even though 8/10 they were missing at least 1 of the other big 3. I honestly think he might be their most important player to making a run in the playoffs, he just does everything so well when he's on.
 

lovegtm

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20-8-4 on 50-46-90% shooting in his last 10, and not coincidentally they've won 8 of them, even though 8/10 they were missing at least 1 of the other big 3. I honestly think he might be their most important player to making a run in the playoffs, he just does everything so well when he's on.
Yeah, I think not making a move at the deadline was a commitment to Hayward longer term over someone like Bertans or Bogdanovic. There’s a path to keep him without going too deep into the tax if he takes a discount to re-sign, they keep the bigs cheap and Grant/Langford develop.

I probably would have chosen the direction of more shooting at a slightly lower price, but I don’t know what GH’s agent is telling them. His athleticism seems to be improving further as the year goes on, which makes 30-34 a bit less scary.
 

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I think Haywire is one of those guys that is just really hard to appreciate in an era when we are either bombarded with highlight reel slams or instead trying so hard to find measurables. He's kind of like old school cool on the court, just morphing into whatever the team needs. Need some passing to get the Js open shots? Done. Need a bit more rebounding tonight? Done. Need some shooting, I might be able to provide that tonight. Team defense, check. I guess I'm saying he's a glue guy in the same way Smart is - without the over the top physical defensive presence.

Love him on the team when healthy, and I like that he seems to be trending in the healthier direction. If I was an elite athlete and had a feel for basketball, I'd be him I think.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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According to Heyworld! himself (and contrary to Nighthob's assertion :cool: ), GH has not given one iota of thought to his contract: https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/02/02/gordon-hayward-hasnt-pondered-his-contract-decision-hes-just-thinking-about-a-title-with-the-celtics/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

“I haven’t thought about it at all,” he said. “I haven’t thought about it at all.”
At all?
“Nope,” Hayward said. “I’ve never done that. When I was a restricted free agent, I didn’t think about it. Then when I was a free agent (unrestricted in 2017), I honestly didn’t think about it until after the season. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it this time, too.”
 

nighthob

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What were you expecting him to say? Need we dig out Kyrie quotes from the time after he’d begun recruiting for the Nets? ;)
 

scottyno

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What were you expecting him to say? Need we dig out Kyrie quotes from the time after he’d begun recruiting for the Nets? ;)
Kyrie specifically made quotes about his future contract before the season had even started, that was half the problem.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think Mr. Chemistry thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it. And thought about it.
 

benhogan

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According to Heyworld! himself (and contrary to Nighthob's assertion :cool: ), GH has not given one iota of thought to his contract: https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/02/02/gordon-hayward-hasnt-pondered-his-contract-decision-hes-just-thinking-about-a-title-with-the-celtics/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

“I haven’t thought about it at all,” he said. “I haven’t thought about it at all.”
At all?
“Nope,” Hayward said. “I’ve never done that. When I was a restricted free agent, I didn’t think about it. Then when I was a free agent (unrestricted in 2017), I honestly didn’t think about it until after the season. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it this time, too.”
a precursor to that's my agents' job to handle those details (at seasons end) which lead to accepting the highest offer (in the summer)
 

NomarsFool

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I think Hayward is more professional. But trust me, he’s thought about it.
Absolutely. I'm sure these guys are all NBA fans in general, watching what is going on around the league - seeing how teams are doing, what they are not doing. I'm sure he talks to his agent all the time, and his agent (if they are worth anything) must be looking at who has cap space and who might be able to fit him in next summer.

I trust that he's not obsessing about it. I trust that he is focused on what is right in front of him, which is doing his best for the Celtics. That likely wasn't true for Kyrie.
 

lovegtm

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Did a mini-thread on Hayward's help D (some from video I posted earlier, but also found an interesting contrast with him and Tatum handling Adams' screens on the weakside).

I honestly didn't expect him to have this many lapses. I wasn't even looking for these--they just popped out in early clips I saw. Dude needs to get his shit together--he should be having way more impact on D with his physical tools and understanding of the game. Tatum is 10x smarter and more aware defensively.

View: https://twitter.com/basile_legrand/status/1227163526478864385?s=20
 

Jimbodandy

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Fwiw, it was driving me batshit during the bad streak. He's still doing it, but it's either not as frequent or not as noticeable (since they're winning anyway).
 

lovegtm

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Fwiw, it was driving me batshit during the bad streak. He's still doing it, but it's either not as frequent or not as noticeable (since they're winning anyway).
Yeah, it’s funny, because we think of him as a heady, unselfish guy (possibly due to race, but I think also the whole Indiana/Utah/“plays the right way” thing), but on the defensive end that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

Hopefully he can get it together...I can understand the difficulty of having to deal with the health stuff in addition to all this.
 

lexrageorge

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And, yet, among the team's top 6 players, Hayward's net on/off rating is 2nd, trailing only Tatum. And none of his defensive metrics look awful.

Is this a case where while there are bad plays that are easily singled out, there are a number of unspectactular good plays that simply don't make the reels?
 

joe dokes

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Yep, it pretty much behooves every player to have some kind of injury attached to their name at some point in the season for the purposes of not shelling out 6-figure fines for giving guys the night off. As long as there is some plausible deniability, the league will let it slide.
Doesn't Hayward pretty much have a lifetime free pass on "Inactive - foot"?
 

lovegtm

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And, yet, among the team's top 6 players, Hayward's net on/off rating is 2nd, trailing only Tatum. And none of his defensive metrics look awful.

Is this a case where while there are bad plays that are easily singled out, there are a number of unspectactular good plays that simply don't make the reels?
Interesting questions. I want to preface this by saying that I think Gordon Hayward is a good basketball player, which the overall numbers and eye-test do show. So without further ado...

His net on-off is good, but a) it's much more offense than defense b) it's not in the same league as Tatum's. They're 0.8 better on D with him on the floor, compared with 7.2 for Tatum. The various adjusted metrics show a similar gap.

That's about what you'd expect from watching: he's a good on-ball defender, who's not awful off-ball. But that gap between him and Tatum on D metrics is massive and real, and plays of the type I highlighted are likely a big cause of that. So I don't think there's a huge case to be made that he's making tons of unspectacular good plays. If anything it's the opposite: his on-ball D makes him look good, while Tatum is making unspectacular good plays one after the other in ways that really add up.

When you're talking about a guy who's a 10th year vet getting paid $30M/year, who clearly sees the game at a very, very high level on offense, it's just a bit surprising that the defensive awareness is lacking this often. I wasn't looking for bad stuff: it just kept popping out.

I'll keep an eye on it as the season goes on and try to also highlight things that he does do well. However, I can almost guarantee you that these are the kinds of plays they highlighted when they had that post-Phoenix film session, and it's concerning that he's still making them.

(I really, really don't want this to be taken as "lovegtm thinks Hayward is bad." He's not. But he has some specific, surprising weaknesses that I hadn't noticed prior, which the numbers and eyes bear out.)
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Thanks for doing this. That first clip (and the play before that as well) is a little weird because on both plays, they allowed Kemba to play Adams man up. I'm not sure if they were testing something or just didn't have their heads in the game but after those two plays, when they ran the PnR to get Adams onto Kemba, the Cs either switched Kemba out or if Kemba was on Adams in the post, there was generally an immediate hard double team. Both of which one would expect the game plan to say.
 

lovegtm

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Thanks for doing this. That first clip (and the play before that as well) is a little weird because on both plays, they allowed Kemba to play Adams man up. I'm not sure if they were testing something or just didn't have their heads in the game but after those two plays, when they ran the PnR to get Adams onto Kemba, the Cs either switched Kemba out or if Kemba was on Adams in the post, there was generally an immediate hard double team. Both of which one would expect the game plan to say.
Gallo, not Adams, but yeah.
 

InstaFace

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You're being too humble by half, I really like your Defensive Lowlights video that you didn't even mention here, and it covers all of that in much more illuminating fashion than the still photos could (and I think one of those still photos isn't of Tatum when you claim it is, btw).

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iD8RBJRJ1g


The Celtics are not going to win any championships anymore based on "we have [Larry Bird | Bill Russell | etc] and you don't". They're going to win, as in 2008, on the back of very-good players and defensive intensity, on the back of executing well a higher percentage of the time. So this stuff is actually concerning and it's important to track it because we need to be showing a steady trend of limiting our mistakes.
 

lovegtm

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The Celtics are not going to win any championships anymore based on "we have [Larry Bird | Bill Russell | etc] and you don't". They're going to win, as in 2008, on the back of very-good players and defensive intensity, on the back of executing well a higher percentage of the time. So this stuff is actually concerning and it's important to track it because we need to be showing a steady trend of limiting our mistakes.
Perfectly put. Hayward definitely does have this level of engagement and effort in him: I was just re-watching the Indy playoff series last year to look at Tatum, and it looks like a different Gordon out there off-ball. Hopefully this is just a minor lull/mental grind of the long season. He has been a slightly net-negative defender most of his career, except for his contract year in Utah when he was awesome.
 

lexrageorge

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Their last 21 games have either been B2B's or a single day off in between. So the OKC road game may not be all that representative of the team's defensive effort in the playoffs.
 

Jimbodandy

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Perfectly put. Hayward definitely does have this level of engagement and effort in him: I was just re-watching the Indy playoff series last year to look at Tatum, and it looks like a different Gordon out there off-ball. Hopefully this is just a minor lull/mental grind of the long season. He has been a slightly net-negative defender most of his career, except for his contract year in Utah when he was awesome.
I think that your entire assessment is correct. He's not killing them defensively, but he has some bigtime focus/effort deficiencies at times on D. It just is.

He's brings so much on offense that it's really not a problem. Just frustrating to watch sometimes. Fwiw, I think that he paces himself at that end. And given that he knows best how much he has in the tank (i.e. foot), I honestly don't habe a big problem with it.
 

lovegtm

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Their last 21 games have either been B2B's or a single day off in between. So the OKC road game may not be all that representative of the team's defensive effort in the playoffs.
I think that's entirely possible, and it's something I'll be looking for. Not trying to trash GH--this is just a key variable for the Cs' championship equity.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The videos are great - thank you for sharing - but I see players widely regarded as great defenders taking plays off, missing rotations and failing to help a few times each game.

Hayward may well be worse than your average player and its probably impractical to do a real example rich comparison. However, I would be interested in how often a player slacks per game versus what other players do. I suspect that even good D types are all around the same range including guys like Gobert, Beverley, Butler and George but that is just a guess.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Fwiw, I think that he paces himself at that end. And given that he knows best how much he has in the tank (i.e. foot), I honestly don't habe a big problem with it.
Most NBA players pace themselves on one or the other end. It is extremely difficult to exert energy necessary to be a creator on offense plus still have energy to play first-class defense. With GH taking on a larger offensive role, I think you are correct that sometimes he paces himself on that end.

It's also one major reason Brad doesn't play his guys huge minutes during the season and IMO one reason why his teams are generally successful second half team. Brad's schemes require a lot of effort on both sides of the floor and I suspect that playing against his schemes also requires more effort than against an average NBA team. I think his schemes wear teams down through the course of a game.
 

lovegtm

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The videos are great - thank you for sharing - but I see players widely regarded as great defenders taking plays off, missing rotations and failing to help a few times each game.

Hayward may well be worse than your average player and its probably impractical to do a real example rich comparison. However, I would be interested in how often a player slacks per game versus what other players do. I suspect that even good D types are all around the same range including guys like Gobert, Beverley, Butler and George but that is just a guess.
Yeah, it would be interesting to check. Based on deep-diving Tatum (see video in his thread): he doesn’t really have these types of brain-farts. He has some technical mistakes and miscommunications, but he’s clearly mentally engaged pretty the whole time he’s on the court.

My guess, just based on the personalities and team situations of the guys you mentioned, is that most of them except George don’t space out like this. Obviously some really smart, elite guys like LeBron will just totally take plays off, but he’s a unique situation.

I’m fine to go deeper on a couple of those other top defenders if there’s interest. I’m bored of hypotheticals and stat-based overviews—the actual raw footage is a lot richer and more interesting.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yeah, it would be interesting to check. Based on deep-diving Tatum (see video in his thread): he doesn’t really have these types of brain-farts. He has some technical mistakes and miscommunications, but he’s clearly mentally engaged pretty the whole time he’s on the court.

My guess, just based on the personalities and team situations of the guys you mentioned, is that most of them except George don’t space out like this. Obviously some really smart, elite guys like LeBron will just totally take plays off, but he’s a unique situation.

I’m fine to go deeper on a couple of those other top defenders if there’s interest. I’m bored of hypotheticals and stat-based overviews—the actual raw footage is a lot richer and more interesting.
Butler would be a good comp with a good reputation.

Would be funny if you did Embiid.

I know none of us could afford it but the motion trackers they have in NBA arenas these day could probably give some insight into how much people move on defense during a game.
 

JCizzle

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Brian Robb wrote an article updating the list of teams with cap space heading into the offseason now that the trading deadline has passed as it relates to Hayward's opt out. He concludes the Celtics remain the favorites and hypothesized a long term extension at $25M/year. He considers the Heat the largest threat to steal him, but it's unlikely if they want to keep the room for a Giannis offer.

View: https://twitter.com/briantrobb/status/1227287259378016257?s=21
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I'm not sure what this tells us by NBA.com does have stats on the distance players travel on defense and the speed. For the Cs, JB leads in distance per game at 1.19 (average speed = 3.90). GH is next at 1.16 (avg speed = 3.93). JT trails at 1.12 miles (speed = 3.67)