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Tuesday, 07 January 2014 22:55

Bill Simmons Has Thought on Utah's Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics Fans Should Be All Aboard

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With teams willing to dump players and salaries, like Courtney Lee's trade to Memphis, Luol Deng's departure from Chicago and Andrew Bynum's release from the Bulls, the Celtics now have unexpected company moving forward for the top pick, right? 

Yes, but that doesn't and shouldn't affect what could be in the making in Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge's plans at the forthcoming trade deadline and come July in free agency. 

According to Bill Simmons of Grantland and ESPN, he believes Celtics will be a team that covets Jazz's Gordon Hayward at the trade deadline or this summer. 

Hayward, who played for head coach Brad Stevens at Butler University, is quite the player. Honestly, I coincide with Simmons on the free agency aspect more than the possible blockbuster deal. 

The three-year guard is headed to restricted free agency, meaning that Utah would be able to match any offer to retain one of their franchise players. If he decided to take his shooting talents to Boston, the Celtics fan base would be in for a real treat. 

Hayward brings everything to the table that any franchise would want: a relationship with a familiar coach, high basketball IQ and a great character guy. No, he is not your typical franchise-changing player, but neither was Ray Allen. 

If Ainge was smart -- which as of late he is -- he would make a play for the quiet scorer. Not only does he have ties with Stevens, but in a shooting guard role he could learn the professional game alongside his other former coach Micah Shrewsberry, who was one of Stevens' assistants at Butler.

Hayward's knowledge of the game originates from Stevens' tactics. But his ability to develop players on the court around him and creating his own shot is all him. 

There is always that, "yeah, but can he play in a big market?" The answer to that is under construction right now. Currently, he is in a tough situation in Utah. That's not to say Utah doesn't draw a strong crowd, they do, but not a lot of free agents are willing to take their services to Utah.

The Celtics should take a hint from their fellow neighbors, the Boston Red Sox. One component to their sucess in 2013 is gathering character players, individuals who love the game they play. Hayward is that type of guy. There is a notion that he eats, drinks and sleeps basketball in the way he carries himself on and off the court. 

Ainge and staff have a number of moves to make before they can actually call themselves NBA champions once again. But if they purloin Hayward away from the Jazz -- via trade or signing -- that's a good piece to their puzzle moving forward. 

Mark Loiselle Jr.

Mark Loiselle Jr. is a Celtics beat writer for CLNS Radio. He currently has a radio show called "The Sports Blast" on ESPN Radio in Nashua, New Hampshire, and writes for The Phinsider. In the past, his work has been published on NESN.com, Phinphanatic.com and Atlantic Twine. 

Mark is a Warwick, Rhode Island native who recently graduated from Springfield College with a degree in communications/sports journalism. You can follow Mark on Twitter @mahkeyL34