Boston Celtics: Gordon Hayward isn’t the answer the C’s thought he’d be

NBA Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NBA Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Roughly two years into his contract, it’s safe to say that Gordon Hayward isn’t the answer that the Boston Celtics thought he’d be

Looking back, Gordon Hayward may have made a $127 million mistake a couple summers ago. The Boston Celtics threw the contract at him in hopes that he would be the missing piece to a championship squad.

It was supposed to be Hayward, Al Horford and Kyrie Irving filling out the “Big Three” in TD Garden. There could still be a chance of it happening, but no one (maybe outside of Danny Ainge) thought second-year forward Jayson Tatum would be the next big thing.

Tatum was drafted third overall in the 2017 NBA draft out of Duke University, averaging 16.8 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Under Coach K, Tatum received elite-level tutelage.

More from Sir Charles In Charge

Then came Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, whom some believe is the next coaching prodigy in the NBA. With Stevens, Tatum exceeded expectations at the expense of Hayward.

Hayward was lost in the early moments of the 2017 season in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers after a gruesome leg injury. Year No. 6 was gone for the ex-Butler Bulldog.

Tatum went on to start every game for the rest of the season, establishing himself as one of the leagues-best marksmen from deep. He shot 43 percent.

Although Tatum has moved around the lineup, he does manage to average a shade under 17 points per game. Much better than last year’s 13.9 points per contest.

Alongside Tatum is third-year guard Jaylen Brown. Brown has yet to come into his own, struggling to find efficiency from mid-range and beyond the arc.

Last season, the 21-year old averaged 14.5 points per outing in 70 games. The Celtics faithful are still awaiting Brown’s coming-out party.

From the looks of it, the potential of Tatum and Brown could be put on hold. Hayward has been a revolving door to the Celtics starting lineup.

In 47 games played, he has cracked the starting lineup 16 times. In his started games, Hayward was either the small forward or power forward in “small-ball” situations.

Tatum would take the spot that Hayward was not occupying. Standing at six-foot-8, weighing 208 pounds, Tatum does not have the girth to play down low against real power forwards.

On the other hand, Brown has become expendable due to Hayward’s return. Last season, Brown logged nearly 31 minutes of play. He has dropped to 26 in 2018.

It gets worse. His points, rebounds, assists, and steals have taken a dive.

His production is waning, but a team would love to have Brown’s out-of-world athleticism.

Stevens has found it hard to incorporate Hayward – let alone justify his massive contract. It would be wise to move Hayward before the deadline.

The Celtics are winning, which is favorable. There is no need for Hayward on this roster, as last season they went further than a lot of us expected.

Related Story. NBA Power Rankings: Can the Lakers land Anthony Davis before the trade deadline?. light

They steamrolled through the playoffs, ultimately losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7. Hayward was watching from the bench, along with Irving who was out with an injury.

Youth is a powerful thing to have in today’s NBA, especially when they have some game. Hayward is an exceptional player, but his services are not needed in Beantown.