Utah Jazz: Will Gordon Hayward find himself in a chaotic situation early?

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 8: Gordon Hayward #20 and Dante Exum #11 of the Utah Jazz are seen during the game against the Golden State Warriors in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2017 at Vivint SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 8: Gordon Hayward #20 and Dante Exum #11 of the Utah Jazz are seen during the game against the Golden State Warriors in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2017 at Vivint SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The situation facing the Boston Celtics – the team Gordon Hayward left the Utah Jazz for – is starting to turn somewhat chaotic.

The most shell-shocking bit of news to hit the Utah Jazz this offseason was without a doubt All-Star Gordon Hayward’s decision to part ways with the team that drafted him and instead flee to the greener pastures offered by the Boston Celtics. However, given how absolutely insane the 2017 NBA offseason has been so far, that’s been far from the biggest news to send shockwaves through the league.

One item of news that very well could be in the running for the most shocking transaction took place on Tuesday of this week when Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kyrie Irving was traded to Gordon Hayward’s recently joined Boston Celtics team in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick.

In my mind, the Cavs brought in an incredible haul that will both help them in 2017-18 as well as help them springboard well into a rebuild should the unthinkable happen of LeBron James departing his hometown Cleveland team for a second time.

While Kyrie Irving is a formidable player, I felt that the Cavs won the trade and I expressed concern about what the deal would mean for both Gordon Hayward and the rest of the Boston Celtics team, which now only includes four returners who logged significant minutes last season on the roster – Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart.

Now, however, it appears that the transaction may fail to even take place at all. According to several reports that arose yesterday, including that of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, after Isaiah Thomas underwent his physical, Cleveland is now evaluating his injured hip and contemplating whether to void or renegotiate the deal.

In other words, the blockbuster deal that everyone was in a tizzy about on Tuesday may end up not even coming to fruition, depending on how things pan out. As Wojnarowski also pointed out yesterday, all players involved in a trade must pass a physical, otherwise the trade can be voided.

Thomas’ lingering hip injury had been brought up several times late last season and into the summer, so it’s not like it was any secret. However, it had been previously announced that the hip wouldn’t require surgery and interestingly enough, Wojnarowski reported on the day of the trade that Cleveland had “no short term concerns on Thomas’ health”. That clearly is no longer the case and it will be absolutely exhilarating to find out what was discovered in Thomas’ physical that changed the Cavs’ mind so drastically.

Only time will tell what is about to happen next in terms of the trade, but in looking at the situation, I can’t help but ask, will this whole debacle result in former Utah Jazz star Gordon Hayward joining a team in chaos?

There are a few likely outcomes that could potentially create that. First of all, if Cleveland decides to completely void the trade and no longer move forward with it, then Thomas, Crowder and Zizic will be back with the Celtics and Kyrie will be back with the Cavs. While it would seem likely that Boston would seek another suitor for three players that may not be too happy about ending back up on the team that traded them, this late in the summer, that suitor may not exist.

Thus, if for some reason the trade simply didn’t go through, the Celtics could be looking at some major chemistry issues as a disillusioned Crowder and Thomas try to fit once again on the Celtics team that cast them away and look to forget that the trade ever happened. That would be an extremely awkward starting point for a team and, quite frankly, I don’t know that I see it happening.

But if the Cavs decide to move on completely, I also have a hard time seeing Boston finding another suitor all that easily, so this is still a real possibility.

The other more realistic option that could take place is that the Cavs demand a renegotiation which either includes a different player besides Thomas or something in addition such as a pick. If the Celtics are hellbent on landing Kyrie Irving (which the previous haul they gave up would seem to have already indicated), then they may just go this route to get the deal done.

However, depending on what they give up, this could serve to only further hinder Boston’s depth which had been their calling card prior to this season. Regardless of how things pan out in the Thomas-Irving trade situation, the Celtics were about to go through a major identity change by thinning out their incredible depth anyway, and if they have to ship more out (even if it is just a pick) it could further damper that identity either this year or in the future.

Adjusting to a new team is never easy, but considering all the new faces the Celtics have, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to witness a bit of chaos in the early-going as they try to come together. And if they’re still reeling from the aftermath of a potentially voided or re-negotiated trade, that could serve to only further the drama. Even if the Cavs decide to simply move forward with the trade as proposed, there will be elements of this issue that will arise for Boston.

The last somewhat unknown situation would be if the Cavs decide to void the trade, then the Celtics end up moving at least Thomas and Crowder to another team for obviously somebody beside Kyrie Irving. Adding new players can cause some adjustments early, but at least adding a savvy NBA champion such as Irving would hypothetically help cancel out some of that adapting thanks to his overall talent and experience.

However, if the Celtics end up trading for someone entirely different, it could once again throw off whatever plans or identity the team had in mind. While I personally think the Celtics will figure this out and still be a formidable team, it has to be somewhat nerve-wracking for Gordon Hayward to be approaching September and still not know exactly who his teammates are going to be. Not only that, but the teammates he’d planned to play alongside appear to be largely gone.

Perhaps that doesn’t matter one bit to him as it seems that coach Brad Stevens was a much larger motivator to join the Celtics than any of his teammates, but it still would be interesting to know whether or not Hayward is having any remnants of second thoughts about leaving the Jazz to join a Celtics team whose immediate future looks somewhat unclear, and quite frankly, rather chaotic.

Based on how he left the Jazz, my money is that he isn’t. Nevertheless, the fact remains that he’s no longer joining a team that looks the same as the one that went to the Eastern Conference Finals last season – the one that his addition to was purportedly going to propel them into becoming a title contender. Instead, he’ll be joining a completely new-look team that could be in a bit of a state of chaos.

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And at this point, determining whether or not that team will end up better or worse than last year’s will be absolutely fascinating to see. The Celtics are facing a bit of chaotic situation and it will be intriguing to witness how Gordon Hayward and the rest of his new teammates – whoever they end up being – will handle it.