Gordon Hayward is not the player he once was. Just ask one Golden State Warriors player who has chosen to remain anonymous.
According to NBA insider Jeff Goodman, a current member of the two-time defending champs spoke in the locker room postgame and didn't mince words about the Celtics forward's level of performance.
"Listen, Gordon Hayward is not Gordon Hayward right now. He’s hurting them. He’s a liability on both ends of the court, the unnamed player said.
No one was expecting Hayward to make an immediate return to All-Star form after his gruesome injury just five minutes into the start of last season, but it's still hard to see 2018-19 as anything but a disappointment for the 28-year-old wing.
Hayward is averaging just 10.8 points per game on a career-worst 31.7 percent shooting from deep, to go with the second-lowest field goal percentage of his career (.420). He began the season in the starting lineup but was moved to the bench as he still tries to get his legs back under him. His numbers have improved a bit since the move, but he is still struggling mightily on the defensive end.
While the anonymous Warrior made the suggestion that the C's should move on from Hayward, there isn't really much of an upgrade available on the current market. Especially with the "Rose Rule" prohibiting them from acquiring Anthony Davis while Kyrie Irving is under his current contract with the team, Danny Ainge and Co. are better off staying put for now.
There is certainly hope that Hayward will be able to improve by the time the playoffs roll around, but it's hard for the franchise not to want more from the man they gave a four-year $128 million contract in 2017.