Hayward to meet with Heat to begin free-agent process

Jun 30, 2017, 00:43

According to a report from Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune, Hayward will open free agency with a July 1 meeting with the Miami Heat.

With Hayward meeting the Miami Heat on Saturday and the Jazz on Monday, that leaves those two days at the beginning of the free agency period.

The Celtics are expected to get the third meeting with Hayward before he makes his free-agent decision.

The Jazz are the only team that can offer Hayward a five-year maximum contract, which would be worth around $172.3 million.

The NBA offseason is a wild time and the Celtics' pursuit of Hayward is certainly no exception. Thanks to new National Basketball Association rules, Hayward has many choices for his next contract, including signing a short one-year deal that would provide him the flexibility of signing a "super-max" contract starting at $35 million in the future.

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The Heat and Celtics can offer four-years deals of approximately four years for $127 million.

That's Boston's plan, anyway, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. In his career at Utah, Hayward averaged 15.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.

If Hayward is in place, the Celtics would then trade for George, a 6-foot-9 forward from the Indiana Pacers. Hayward played for Boston coach Brad Stevens when they both were at Butler, so the Celtics' system should be a good fit. If Hayward were to sign with the Celtics, the chances of Boston pulling off a Paul George trade would receive a significant upshot.

Last postseason, the Jazz produced a video featuring Hayward and his teammates, asking them which National Football League quarterback they preferred. He earned his first All-Star appearance as part of a Utah team that won 51 games and made it to the second round of the playoffs.

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

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