NBA Free Agency 2017: Gordon Hayward to meet Miami Heat on Saturday


Utah Jazz forward and unrestricted free agent Gordon Hayward is set to meet with the Boston Celtics on Sunday or Tuesday.

Gordon Hayward will be among the top players available when the free agency period begins, and Pat Riley has reportedly secured the initial meeting.

If he were to join the Celtics as their roster stands today, Hayward's 12.0 nERD would rank second to only Isaiah Thomas, who posted a 16.3 nERD over the 2016-17 season.

While it appears Utah has a good thing going with a strong young core, Hayward almost left the franchise once before. League sources say Hayward wants to take his meetings, and make a decision in short order. The Jazz can offer him a five-year deal worth approximately $180 million.

That's Boston's plan, anyway, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Heat and Celtics are expected to offer him a four-year max contract.

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All of that being said, it will be interesting to see what the upcoming offseason has in store for Hayward.

The veteran has played his entire career in Utah and he will meet with the Jazz on Monday.

General manager Danny Ainge's son, Tanner, is now running for Congress in Utah and has continually expressed a desire for Hayward to re-sign with the Jazz. If he does leave Utah, it would make more sense that he would leave for a championship caliber team in Boston, where he would reunite with his old Butler head coach Brad Stevens.

The 6-foot-8 swingman, drafted No. 9 overall by the Jazz in 2010, averaged 21.9 points and shot better than 47 percent from the floor and almost 40 percent from 3-point range during the 2016-17 campaign. If Hayward were to sign with the Celtics, the chances of Boston pulling off a Paul George trade would receive a significant upshot.

Tanner took to Twitter to acknowledge how much of a hot button issue Hayward's free agency is in Utah.