After a scorching start to the season that was one of the biggest early storylines, the Boston Celtics have begun to trail off in recent weeks. In fact, Boston has been barely above average, going 18-14 over the past two months, a far cry from their overall mark of 40-18.
The good news is that Boston already has some help in a major way on their roster in injured forward Gordon Hayward. Though Hayward is listed as out for season, there have been rumblings about a possible return this season, especially if the Celtics can muster a deep playoff run.
However, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix, coach Brad Stevens and Hayward haven’t even discussed that possibility:
Brad Stevens, to me, on @dpshow, on Gordon Hayward: “My mindset is he’s not coming back. That’s the way we’ve approached it. Gordon and I have never had a conversation about him coming back.”
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) February 12, 2018
Though Kyrie Irving has done a fantastic job in his debut year as Boston’s franchise player, another scoring option would do wonders for a team lacking a consistent secondary offensive threat. Lucky for them, they won’t have to go too far to find an answer as Gordon Hayward had cemented himself as one of the premier scorers on the wing prior to the injury.
Hayward has been sidelined since fracturing his ankle in the first game of the season against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was the type of injury that was as grueling as it was concerning so rushing Hayward back isn’t in anyone’s best interest and Brad Stevens knows this.
Though the devastating injury may currently be derailing what could’ve been a dream season, especially with Cleveland struggling, it’s still best not to take a gamble with Hayward’s long-term health. At only 27 years old, Hayward and fellow counterpart Kyrie Irving are expected to be one of the most formidable 1-2 punches in the NBA for years to come so putting that in jeopardy won’t be worth the risk.