I'm not going to do what you might think I'm going to do and shit all over Ryen Rusillo. Even if this quote did make me laugh. A classic "dude trust me" situation here. There is no denying he is infinitely more connected than any of us are, so I have no doubt that he hears things from time to time from people in the know.
But I can't help but think about what Zach Lowe said the other day when he did his own flaming of these Gordon Hayward rumors.
How much of all this bullshit is real and how much of it is just guys being on Twitter? I'm not someone that thinks there's no way that Hayward might want a change in scenery. That's entirely possible and his right given his player option. As I wrote in the blog last week, there are really only two reasons the Celts need to trade Hayward
1. He tells them that he is opting out and not interested in re-signing
If this happens, you have to move him. You can't allow him to leave for nothing. That's where all these new dates of free agency/etc are so important. If training camps really do start December 1st, you're going to have like 1 week to pull everything off. My guess is Ainge already knows what Hayward is going to do and has been tampering his dick off working out a potential deal. Basically something similar to what happened with Terry Rozier.
2. He opts in, but then will not re-sign at the end of the year.
If this were the case, you either look to move Hayward offseason once he opts in, or you wait until the deadline to move him. It's not all that different from the first situation, and the point is the same. You can't lose that asset for nothing. Even if you have to take 75 cents on the dollar.
It's impossible to know what Hayward is going to do, and anyone that suggests they do know is a flat out liar. We all thought Horford would opt out and re-sign on a team friendly deal and look what happened. The Sixers blew their load on him and he was gone. That's all it takes, you just need one team to be in on Hayward. At the same time, he probably isn't finding that $30M+ price on the open market given his injury history. In my opinion it makes sense for both sides to opt out and come to a new team friendly deal, but even I say that while knowing I have no idea what he's going to do.
What makes me still skeptical about all these "sources" and "leaks" is the market. Teams like ATL/NYK/DET/CHA/SAC/NO are really the only ones with tons of space available. If you're Hayward, who are you looking at in terms of being a better fit and who would be willing to give him big money? I think it's highly unlikely that someone offers him $30M. Teams like the Pelicans already have his position filled, so I'd say they would be out. The Hawks just invested young draft picks in two way wings, so they would be a weird fit. There's always the Knicks who you can't rule out since they just need any big name to go there, and the Pistons do need a wing I guess.
That's why it's more likely that if Hayward does want to leave, the Celts trade him. You can't let him walk for nothing, and maybe there are options out there to help fill the void. Again, you only move Hayward if you know he's 100% leaving. If he wants to stay, you keep him. The free agent market in addition to what you have available to spend makes it very hard to replace that healthy Hayward production as the 4th option. Pretty simple.
Look, I think it's entirely possible that maybe Hayward truly wants a fresh start somewhere else, just like it's entirely possible this is all just agent posturing bullshit. Think about it. His agent leaks that he wants to leave, maybe putting the pressure on the Celts to bump up their offer on a potential extension. Maybe this person talking about Hayward wanting to leave is associated with a team that is trying to trade for him. It's all posturing at this point in the offseason. It wouldn't shock me if Danny Ainge leaks the exact opposite of this "report" to help shift the narrative.
With the timeframe of when trades can happen still up in the air, my guess is we are nowhere close to being done with these type of rumors or reports. If anything this is just the beginning. I still believe that this team is better with Hayward in the mix and given the landscape the Celts are actually the best fit for Hayward. Whether that matters to either side, we'll just have to wait and see.