NBA: Struggling Gordon Hayward Could End Up Playing Restricted Minutes For Celtics

Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward (Photo: Erik Drost/Flickr)

Returning from a horrific injury early does have consequences and Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics seems to be realizing that. Showing he is still mentally unready for the rigors of playing NBA ball, the 28-year-old has been struggling as of late for the C's.

Hayward has been struggling thus far in the 2018-19 NBA season and has been singled out more as a liability for head coach Brad Stevens. The Celtics were installed as one of the favorites this season. However, they have fallen short of expectations. They are fifth in the Eastern Division with a 31-19 record, a game behind the Philadelphia 76ers. The Milwaukee Bucks are lording it over the division as of this writing.

Hayward being singled out as a liability comes from an unnamed person over at the Golden State Warriors camp. "Gordon Hayward is not Gordon Hayward right now" and the same source believes that the Celtics need to make a move soon, CLNS Media Network said.

Hayward signed a lucrative $127.8 million four year deal with the Celtics back in 2017 and the suggested move seems to hint more at playing time than an NBA trade. With Hayward admitting that he has not fully recovered and that his injured ankle continues to bug him, Stevens could end up playing Hayward less until he is able to get over the physical and mental issues.

Apparently, Hayward has yet to properly get over that horrific injury that happened on the 2017-18 NBA season opening night between the Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. And from the looks of it, Hayward may not mind such a move.

“I think most of that is probably from a lack of confidence in going to the basket and challenging bigs — especially at the beginning of the year,” Hayward said in a report from the Bleacher Report. “I think that’s the last part that’s not all the way back yet.

Worth noting is that the Celtics made strides last season with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Stevens may want to revisit that formula for the time-being. They are in a good position to make a move in the Eastern Conference and hopefully finish among the top four.

Given lesser time on the court and condition himself better, Hayward could return in better shape both mentally and physcially in time for the all-important post-season wars. The Celtics need to make the necessary adjustments fast if they want to reclaim that billing as the top team to watch in the NBA Eastern Conference and hopefully reach the NBA Finals.

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