Entering the 2017-2018 NBA season, there were tons of headlines to follow. Most of these headlines stem from the fact there were a record number of NBA all-stars who moved teams and most of them even moved conferences. This caused a slight power shift of talent to the Western Conference. One of the bigger moves actually came from a Western Conference playoff team, Utah Jazz, lost their star player, Gordon Hayward, to the top team in the Eastern Conference last year, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics surprised everyone with a dominant showing last year which vaulted them to the top seed for the Eastern Conferences that eventually saw them fall to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. In an effort to get over the hump, and by hump I mean the dominance of daily fantasy basketball star LeBron James, coach Brad Stevens went out and got himself a superstar that he wanted.
The relationship between Hayward and Stevens started a couple years ago while the both were at Butler University; Stevens as the head coach and Hayward as the star player. They lost touch of each other after Hayward was a lottery selection for the Utah Jazz and Stevens left Butler after signing a lucrative deal to become the next brilliant coach of the storied Boston Celtics. Stevens was dealing with a roster full of luxuries as he had compiled one of the deepest rosters in the league. On top of that, the Celtics had rights to three years straight of lottery type draft picks thanks to the mega deal they struck with the Brooklyn Nets back in the early 2010s when the Nets acquired aging superstars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The Celtics were keeping these assets close to them and couldn’t have been more elated when they were able to land the two-way superstar that they needed, in Gordon Hayward, without having to give up anything.
Once the rumors started to circle that all-pro Kyrie Irving was sick of living in the shadow of LeBron James, the Celtics were quick to offer a valuable trade package that included two starters (Isiah Thomas and Jae Crowder) and only one of their top draft picks going to the Cavaliers. And the Boston front office couldn’t have been more ecstatic. For the first time since the Big Three days of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen; the Celtics were considered one of the favorites to not only win the Eastern Conference but also the NBA finals.
The city of Boston was buzzing. They were still enthralled with the dramatic New England Patriots comeback and now just got two super stars in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. And the icing on top of the cake was that the Celtics opened against the Cleveland Cavaliers so Kyrie would have his opportunity to stick it to his new team right from the get go. Unfortunately for the Celtics, it was all too good to be true. Minutes into the opening game of the 2017-2018 season, Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome lower leg injury that is not slated to keep him out for the rest of the season. The injury was suffered when Hayward when up for an alley-oop and LeBron James swiftly came out of seemingly nowhere and swatted the ball and Hayward to the ground. Hayward fell awkwardly and ended up rolling up his leg which caused him to break his fibula and ankle. This is terrible news for the entirety of the league and surely will hurt a great deal of fantasy basketball teams.