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Mixed Reports On Gordon Hayward Wanting Out Of Utah

BOSTON (CBS) -- Gordon Hayward wants out of Utah. Or maybe he doesn't.

With the NBA Draft just a day away, the rumors are starting to fire up around the league. Hayward's situation in Utah is one Celtics fans should be monitoring, with the Jazz small forward being an enticing trade target for Boston.

One report early Wednesday said Hayward is unhappy with the Jazz and wants out. Utah is attempting to accommodate him, a situation the Celtics may be able to take advantage of.

But just as quickly as Geltzeiler's report hit the Twitterverse, so too did a report refuting that claim.

Genessy's report seems to agree with an ESPN report from late Tuesday night that said many teams were shooting down Boston's attempts at trading the No. 3 pick. Hayward was mentioned in that story, with the Jazz uninterested in moving their star forward for Boston's top pick on Thursday night.

If Geltzeiler's report is true though, the Jazz may be a little more inclined to discuss a possible swap with Danny Ainge and the Celtics. The Jazz own the 12th overall pick on Thursday night, but with the third pick would be able to draft Kris Dunn or another highly touted player and address their need at point guard. They'd lose Hayward, but he can opt out and become a free agent next season, so they run a slight risk of losing him for nothing.

The swap would make sense for the Celtics, who could use a proven scorer like Hayward. He's not the superstar player they're looking for like a Jimmy Butler type, but the 26-year-old averaged a career-high 19.7 points per game last season on .433 shooting and has become a very solid offensive player since being drafted ninth overall out of Butler in 2010. Not to mention, people have been wondering what Hayward would be able to do in Brad Stevens' system, his former coach at Butler.

As noted, Hayward can opt out after next season and will command a max contract, so a swap would carry risk for the Celtics as well. But if Ainge is set on acquiring an established veteran, and the Bulls remain adamant on keeping Jimmy Butler, Hayward is a strong option for Boston.

That is of course if Hayward actually wants out of Utah, which remains unknown. This will be one of the many storylines to follow as the draft approaches.

 

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