Utah Jazz: Recent Isaiah Thomas comments could have Gordon Hayward implications

May 2, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) reacts after scoring 53 points in defeating the Washington Wizards in game two of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
May 2, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) reacts after scoring 53 points in defeating the Washington Wizards in game two of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas recently stated that he’s more concerned with bringing in talent than worrying about his own contract extension. Could this have an impact on Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz?

Make no mistake about it, Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has his eyes set on a championship. No matter what anyone might think about Thomas’ recent playoff performance, his lack of size or his long-term fit on this Celtics team, there’s simply no denying that he was an integral part of Boston’s success this past season.

At 28.9 points per game, Thomas was the league’s third leading scorer and came up absolutely clutch time after time in the fourth quarter. Even though Boston’s lone playoff win against the Cleveland Cavaliers happened to come with Thomas sidelined with a hip injury, to think they would have made it to the number one seed in the East and the Eastern Conference Finals without him is somewhat ludicrous.

Beyond that, Thomas is currently on a steal of a contract as he’s set to make just $6.3 million dollars in this upcoming season. However, he is eligible for a contract extension this summer prior to heading into the final year of his current deal, meaning that many may presume that Thomas would want to begin talks right away to ensure he’s getting every cent he deserves over the long haul.

But although it’s a rarity in today’s NBA, it would appear that’s the last worry on Thomas’ mind. Instead, he’s focused on sacrificing for the betterment of the team in hopes of elevating them to NBA title contention. According to a recent ESPN report from Chris Forsberg, Thomas has said that he’s perfectly fine with putting his extension on hold until he becomes a free agent in 2018 if it means that the team has more financial flexibility to bring in talent via free agency this summer.

He stated:

"“We need the best possible player that’s gonna help us win, and I’m with that. Anything Danny (Ainge) and this organization need me to do to help bring even more talent to this city, I’m all for that. I want to win a championship and being so close to getting to the Finals, that makes you want it that much more.I’m all help if they need it. I’ll be around.[An extension] means more money? Yeah, I would love that. But if it don’t happen, I’m the last person to be bothered by that. I know everything happens for a reason so, when my time comes, I know it will come and God will bless me.”"

With the NBA salary cap at an all-time high and contracts going through the roof, that kind of personal sacrifice is what it’s going to take for any team to be able to truly compete with the league’s behemoths for a championship. It’s crazy to think that next season the Celtics first overall pick in the draft will be set to make more money ($7 million) than an All-NBA second team player like Thomas.

His willingness to work with the Celtics financially is where things get interesting for the Utah Jazz due to the free agent status of their best player Gordon Hayward. It’s no secret that the Celtics covet Hayward’s services and will be targeting him hard this summer. They’re in a prime position to add some talented free agents and ought to have a monumental summer.

And although the Celtics are still clearly quite a ways behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, they’re the closest team in the East to challenging them and could potentially make that leap by adding a couple key guys.

Figure in the fact that Boston’s best player is more concerned with getting the right talent there and winning a championship than guaranteeing himself the most money, and little by little they’re beginning to look like quite the appealing free agent destination.

Of course, Thomas didn’t mention anyone specific regarding who the Celtics ought to bring in next season, but this mention definitely sends a message to Hayward and other free agents that Boston is serious about doing what it takes to win.

It’s well documented that Isaiah Thomas played a key role in trying to recruit Kevin Durant to come to Boston last summer and many have speculated that he was attempting to do the same thing to Gordon Hayward during All-Star weekend. Whether that’s the case or not, there’s no questioning that Gordon is paying attention to things like this and it’s sure to figure into his final decision.

Will Thomas’ willingness to sacrifice for the better of the team while clearly stating his championship aspirations be enough to tip the scale in convincing Hayward? I’m not so sure, but it certainly can’t hurt. The Celtics have a bright future, an abundance of cap space and due to Thomas’ flexibility, might have more options financially to get even better in the years to come.

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The allure for Gordon Hayward to join the Celtics seems to be growing with each passing day. Hopefully Dennis Lindsey and Co. are well-prepared with plans of their own to counter that growing temptation and convince Hayward to stay in Utah for the long haul.