BOSTON (CBS) — Gordon Hayward could be one step closer to joining the Celtics. The soon-to-be free-agent forward plans to meet with the C’s next Monday, according to ESPN’s Jorge Sedano.
A previous report stated that Hayward would meet with the Celtics on Sunday then the Jazz on Monday. Hayward will actually meet with the Jazz on Monday, then the Celtics after that. The Celtics will be the final team on Hayward’s free-agent tour, as he first plans to visit the Heat on Saturday.
Sources have indicated to ESPN that the Heat and Celtics are essentially equal threats to sign Hayward away from the Jazz, who have a five-year, $180 million agreement on the table to retain the 27-year-old star.
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Based on recent reports and rumors, Hayward is one of two major pieces that Danny Ainge and the Celtics are looking to acquire this offseason. Hayward and the Pacers’ Paul George are reportedly the prime targets for Ainge’s blueprint for the next great Celtics super-team.
For a potential George deal to work, Ainge would first need to acquire Hayward’s services – and that would come after several steps to clear space. Hayward’s decision is expected to come early in free agency. Teams and free agents can agree to deals starting July 1, but they cannot be officially signed until July 6.