Don’t be fooled: Gordon Hayward is going to play for the Boston Celtics next season.
That’s not up for debate. How he gets there is.
According to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, “the Jazz have not been able to work out a sign-and-trade deal with” Boston after the All-Star forward announced he would be joining the reigning Eastern Conference champions via The Players’ Tribune.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that talks were “dormant” after discussions centered around Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder:
A sign-and-trade would’ve allowed Utah to recoup some talent and let Boston create the cap room necessary for bringing in Hayward, but that process has already begun. On Friday, Boston sent lockdown defender Bradley and a 2019 second-round pick to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Marcus Morris.
According to Genessy, the Jazz pushed for Crowder “among other assets,” to no avail.
“Barring an unexpected breakthrough in the next few days, no deal between the two teams will happen,” Genessy added.
The Celtics plan to introduce Hayward this week in Las Vegas—where the Summer League is taking place—according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe:
Like Hayward was, Carmelo Anthony is caught between a contender and where his heart—and family—resides.
(Note: In fairness, Utah could’ve been a contender with Hayward.)
Per Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets are “turning full attention” toward scooping Melo away from the New York Knicks after landing star point guard Chris Paul. Pairing Anthony with James Harden and CP3 would create a three-headed monster capable of hanging with the big dogs in the Western Conference.
“The Rockets have been in talks with the Knicks about Anthony,” Wojnarowski wrote with ESPN.com colleague Brian Windhorst this weekend, “who has informed the Knicks he would waive his no-trade clause if a deal could be worked out with Houston.”
As alluded to there, Melo is one of three NBA players with a no-trade clause. LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki are the other two. In recent months, Anthony has seemed likely to remain a Knick, largely due to his family.
La La, his wife, said on the Wendy Williams Show on June 27 that despite the constant rumors, Anthony’s priority is remaining near their 10-year-old son, Kiyan.
“Every day, I see a different team. That’s for sure,” La La said (h/t Pro Basketball Talk’s Dan Feldman). “The most important thing with that is to stay close to Kiyan. That’s my priority. That’s his priority.”
La La muddied the waters in an interview with Hot 97 by teasing that Cleveland, among other teams, is “close” to their son:
Wojnarowski’s report sings a more direct tune. The Knicks are in full-on rebuilding mode with team president Phil Jackson out the door and a young core in place, anchored by Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis.
Daily Knicks’ Maxwell Ogden broke it down by position:
Would the opportunity to play for a contender sway Melo into green-lighting a deal? It’s possible. The best point guard he’s played with since his Denver Nuggets days was a 39-year-old Jason Kidd in 2013. Anthony had a career year, finishing third in MVP voting, and led the Knicks to the No. 2 seed in the East.
With the Rockets, he’d get two elite floor generals in their primes.
Is it enough to waive the clause? We’ll see. Wojnarowski reported on July 3 that Anthony would also lift it in order to join LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Until recently, all reports have indicated that Melo was rock-solid in his determination to remain a Knick. The recent news on the contrary could signal a deal on the horizon. At 33, this could be Anthony’s best chance to join a contender while still playing at an All-Star level.
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