Source: Celtics interested in Utah's Hayward

Source: Celtics interested in Utah's Hayward
February 18, 2014, 4:45 pm
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PHOENIX — The Celtics have expressed some interest in acquiring Utah's Gordon Hayward, a league source tells

Hayward, who starred for Celtics head coach Brad Stevens while at Butler, will become a restricted free agent this summer after he and the Jazz could not come to terms on an extension this past fall.

The biggest challenge appears to be finding assets currently on the Celtics' roster that are appealing to the Jazz.

Despite Utah's desperate need for a point guard, there's little interest in Rajon Rondo primarily because they don't anticipate he'll re-sign with the club beyond his current contract which is up in the summer of 2015.

Jeff Green is another option, but the Jazz aren't all that interested in him, either.

It would appear the one thing that might nudge Utah towards giving serious thought to dealing Hayward, would be if the Celtics were willing to part with at least one of their stockpiled first-round picks.

But two league sources, both having had recent conversations with the Celtics, told on Tuesday that Boston is "very reluctant" to part with any of their first-round picks in facilitating a deal.

In fact, Boston appears focused on adding more picks or assets with any deal they strike between now and the trade deadline.

That would be consistent with their two previous trades this season.

When they traded Courtney Lee to Memphis for Jerryd Bayless, the deal generated a trade exception worth more than $2 million.

And when they were part of a three-team deal that sent Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to Golden State, Boston received Joel Anthony and a future, protected first-round pick from Miami (via Philadelphia).