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Undrafted Guards From Overseas Who Could Help NBA Team

Errick McCollum is dominating the CBA and is one of several overseas players who could help an NBA team.

David Pick

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Every year, a number of NBA teams turn to the same veteran retreads when it comes time to add a free agent. However, there are plenty of NBA-caliber players overseas who could help an NBA franchise if given the opportunity.

Skilled guards like left-handed Keith Langford, the reigning No. 1 Euroleague scorer, could’ve pursued NBA offers, including from the Philadelphia 76ers, but opted to sign a lucrative $3.8 million pact with Russian club Kazan instead.

Veteran star point guard Bo McCalebb, undrafted out of New Orleans in 2008, has won multiple MVP awards and championships in Serbia, Italy and Turkey. However, though he’s been in recent contact with multiple NBA teams, McCalebb signed a one-month deal with German powerhouse Bayern Munich, and it appears his NBA window is closing.

Serbian phenom point guard Milos Teodosic is a lock in terms of NBA talent, but his long-term, high-dollar contract with CSKA Moscow will keep him in Europe.

So, who is the next Patrick Beverley, who was playing in Russia just prior to joining the Houston Rockets? Or Brian Roberts, who won three German League titles before making the jump to then New Orleans Hornets, and is now with the Charlotte Hornets?

Here are some overseas players who could follow their paths:

Malcolm Delaney

This 25-year-old Baltimore native combo-guard is a European Championship ring collector. Delaney, undrafted out of Virginia Tech in 2011, is the only player in Europe to win back-to-back-to-back Championships in three different countries.

In 2012, he guided Chalon to the French title, averaging 15 points, 3.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds per showcase through his rookie season overseas. The following season Budivelnyk Kiev road Delaney to the Ukraine Superleague chip, as he was named Player of the Year. Delaney’s coming-out-season was the previous one with German muscle Bayern Munich, who ultimately won the German Bundesliga Championship, as Delaney, once again, took home another Player of the Year award.

He made a splash throughout his Euroleague season debut, registering 12 points per game, and ranked sixth among the top passers in Europe with 4.3 dimes per outing – behind ultra-skilled passers in Carlos Arroyo, Dimitris Diamantidis and Sergio Rodriguez.

Last April, Delaney – who was having a monster season – was close to making the jump to the NBA as the Houston Rockets reached out to strike a deal. However, Munich was battling for the gold in the German League, and vetoed the idea in a heartbeat.

During the offseason, Delaney signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract sheet in Russia with Lokomotiv Kuban. According to sources with knowledge of the contract agreement, Delaney has an escape clause he can trigger as late as July 22, 2015. From what I’m hearing, he’s mulling over opting-out.

Errick McCollum

Believe it or not, this kid is currently the No. 1 scorer in the world.

Errick, best known as older brother of Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, is extremely overlooked. He’s even more underestimated. But, all that’s about to change.

After dropping 34 points in a preseason match up against highly projected NBA draftee Emmanuel Mudiay, who was held to just seven points before fouling out, even NBA officials are paying close attention.

McCollum, 26, is averaging 42.8 points per game in China and recently had an out-of-body performance, setting a worldwide season-record of 63 points. Last week, McCollum recorded his first career triple-double with 58 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in a 127-122 deficit against former Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Akognon and the Foshan Lions.

Here’s a list of the damage McCollum’s has done thus far in China: 63 points against Justin Dentmon and ex-Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi, 49 points over Von Wafer and Jeremy Tyler, 48 points vs former CBA forward Al Harrington, 47 points on Pooh Jeter, 45 points (11 boards and eight dimes) versus Delonte West and Michael Beasley and 44 points (22-for-27 from the free throw line) against Metta World Peace.

McCollum played high school ball with his younger brother C.J. and current Grizzlies center Kosta Koufos. He went undrafted out of Goshan College of the NAIA, and his first gig overseas was such a bust he almost retired.

The 6-foot-2 Canton native bounced back and won scoring titles in the Israeli minors, the top Greek League and in the EuroCup (Europe’s second-tier competition) with an average of 20.2 points per outing, earning the league’s Import Player of the Year.

Before the Greek playoffs, I’m told, six-time European champs Panathinaikos, requested to buy-out McCollum, but his team refused.

Over the summer, the buzz around McCollum generated into an NBA Summer League invite from the Denver Nuggets, followed by a series of auditions for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets. He ended up signing a $700,000 deal with the CBA’s Zhejiang Banks.

Once the season in China is up, McCollum is a virtual lock to enter either the NBA or Euroleague.

Tyrese Rice

Last season’s Euro Cinderella was 27-year-old Boston College alumnus Tyrese Rice. Coached by current Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt, Rice struggled as a backup point guard for Israeli power-club Maccabi Tel Aviv. But the end result, however, paid off. I mean literally, with a monster $5.4 million deal in Russia.

Rice was crowned the 2014 Israeli League Final Four and Euroleague Final Four Most Valuable Player. He led Maccabi to its first European Championship in almost a decade following a game-high 26 points, including a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line in the Finals against Spanish favorites Real Madrid.

Undrafted in 2009, Rice is a relentless bulldog with a great feel for the game. The 6-foot-1 human dynamite recorded 45 points and 11 assists during a two-game Finals series in Israel vs Maccabi Haifa. During the 2011-12 season, Rice was teammates at Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in Lithuania with center Jonas Valanciunas of the Toronto Raptors.

Chris Goulding

Before taking his talents to Spain, to the best league outside the NBA, Goulding was the top shooting guard on the Australian continent.

In March, the Tasmanian-born assassin caught fire, shooting a career-high 50 points during a 92-82 win over their domestic rival the Sydney Kings. It was the NBL’s best individual scoring performance of the modern era. Goulding capped the season as the No. 1 scorer, netting 22.8 points per game.

Prior to that, at just 22 years of age, Goulding was named MVP of the NBL All-Star Game, leading all scorers with 24 points.

This offseason, Goulding signed a single-season deal with ACB club Zaragoza and has had a smooth transition to Europe. He’s averaging 9.1 points per showcase in 22 minutes in Europe’s toughest, defensive-minded league in Spain. In EuroCup play, Goulding leads his team in scoring with 15.1 points per contest in 26 minutes, including 45.2 percent from deep. His stroke is deadly from the free throw line, shooting 29-for-30 this season.

Goulding tested NBA waters during the latest Summer League with a strong showing for the Dallas Mavericks, registering 8.3 points on 50 percentage shooting from 3-point land.

Over the years the NBA has opened its doors to Australia’s finest as Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes were joined in recent offseason by Cameron Bairstow, Joe Ingles and pick No. 5 in the 2014 NBA draft in Dante Exum.

Goulding has emerged as the next Aussie to make an NBA splash.

Reggie Redding

ALBA Berlin’s all-around guard isn’t known for his shooting, but Redding is a real sleeper when it comes to the NBA.

Undrafted in 2010 out of the University of Villanova, Redding, as an overseas rookie, immediately claimed ownership of the cup and league title in the low-level Cyprus League. He then jumped to the up-and-coming German League and was nominated to the Bundesliga All-Star Game.

Redding was later acquired by ALBA, earned the German League Import of the Year award and now competes in Europe’s highest level in the Euroleague, where he’s averaging 11.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

Redding’s club shocked the basketball world with a 94-93 preseason W over reigning NBA champs, the San Antonio Spurs. Redding was golden in the clutch with key 3-pointer to cut ALBA’s deficit to 93-92 win under five seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, Redding stole a Tim Duncan inbound pass that led to a game-winning prayer for the Germans. Redding had 12 points on 66 percent shooting from the perimeter, and recorded a game-high of five assists and four steals.

Yogev Ohayon

The 6-foot-3 floor Israeli floor general for Maccabi Tel Aviv is one the best old-school players in the game. Ohayon, a 27-year-old, four-year Euroleague veteran, is a quick left-handed, pass-first point guard who knows how to run an offense.

Before turning pro at 16.5, playing backup point guard for Hapoel Galil Elyon, Ohayon set an all-time Israel record with a quadruple-double of 34 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and 10 steal during an 81-57 high-school victory.

Ohayon’s shooting has always been a liability, but he’s greatly improved and is a tab under 40 percent from distance this season. Ohayon, a longtime backcourt partner on the Israeli national team with former Dallas Mavericks guard Gal Mekel, is an elite on-ball defender.

Just last week Ohayon put up a career-high eight steals in a 79-73 road victory over French club Limoges.

Jordan Taylor

The former Wisconsin point guard and pre-Draft Portsmouth Invitational Tournament invitee, is the biggest steal of the Israeli League this season.

Had he not been held back by injuries, the 6-foot-2 native of Minnesota was bound for the higher ranks in overseas competition. Still, Taylor is leading a low-budget Hapoel Holon club to the playoffs, as the No. 5 seed with a 5-3 record.

Taylor, who played a year and a half in the Italian SeriaA for Rome, averaging double-digits in scoring before hurting his hip, was ranked first earlier this season in Israel in efficiency, and second in points.

Taylor, a strong-built playmaker with quick hands (ranked sixth in steals with 2.3 per game) and a solid stroke, didn’t show out for the Milwaukee Bucks at the recent NBA Summer League, but did in fact turn down a pair of NBA Western Conference camp invites to jump start his career in Israel. Meaning, he’s still on the radar of NBA teams.

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NBA All-Star Friday Recap

Basketball Insiders recaps NBA All-Star Friday 2019, which featured a four-point shot and a deep pool of talent in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Matt John

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NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game had a variety of big names to trot out on Friday night. This list included former NBA players such as Ray Allen and Jay Williams, current WNBA players Stefanie Dolson and A’ja Wilson, entertainers such as JB Smoove, Mike Colter, and Hassan Minhaj, and last year’s MVP, Quavo.

The Home Team was coached by WNBA legend Dawn Staley while the Away Team was coached by WNBA superstar Sue Bird.

Team Staley pulled ahead multiple times throughout the game, but every run they made was followed by a run by Team Bird. Team Bird’s comeback attempt fell short as Team Staley ultimately won 82-80.

Internet Comedian Famous Los led the way for Team Staley, scoring a team-high 22 points on 10-16 shooting while dishing out three assists in the team’s victory. Jay Williams razzled and dazzled as well, scoring 18 points on 8-15 shooting while dishing out five assists – including this beauty.

What could have been with Jay Williams…

Quavo topped his performance last year for Team Staley, scoring a game-high 27 points in total, highlighted by what may very well be the only five-point play to ever happen in an NBA-sponsored basketball game. Quavo shot 13-19 from the field while also corralling nine rebounds as well. Ray Allen also put up a vintage performance, putting up 24 points on 11-21 shooting, nine rebounds and five assists.

There were a few interesting wrinkles to this game. A four-point shot was implemented in which $4,000 would be donated to charity for each shot made from distance. Ten four-pointers were made in the game, totaling $40,000 in charity donations.

Two more fun facts: We didn’t even get a tip-off in this game. Comedian Brad Williams stole the ball from the ref to start it off. Also, just because it’s a harmless exhibition does not mean participants won’t get into it. JB Smoove and Hassan Minhaj got a little testy at the end of the first quarter.

Other participants included:

From Team Bird: Ronnie 2K (Director of influencer marketing, 2K Sports), AJ Buckley (Actor, “SEAL Team”), Bad Bunny (Singer), Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks’ Co-Owner), Adam Ray (Host of About Last Night), Amanda Seales (Actor/Comedian), James Shaw Jr. (Hometown Hero), Brad Williams (Host of About Last Night)

From Team Staley: Chris Daughtry (Singer), Terrence Jenkins (TV Personality/Actor), Dr. Oz (TV Personality), Rapsody (Rapper), Bo Rinehart (Musician), Steve Smith (Former NFL Player), Jason Weissman (Hometown Hero)

MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars

If last year’s Rising Stars game had an overabundance of talent, this one may have very well topped it. That’s how loaded this year’s class was.

Let’s start with what could be a preview for what’s to come next year: Luka Doncic’s performance. More specifically, his connection with Lauri Markaanen. Throughout the first quarter, Doncic found Markaanen everywhere, either for easy alley-oops or wide open threes on the pick and pop.

Why bring this up? Because this is exactly what we could expect to see from Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis when they share the court together, as Markaanen has a similar skill set offensively to Porzingis’.

As for the game itself, Team USA jumped out to a 12-point lead at the half, thanks primarily to the likes of Jayson Tatum (16 points on 6-12 shooting) and Kyle Kuzma (21 points on 10-16 shooting).

Team World wouldn’t go down without a fight. In the third quarter, they managed to cut the deficit down to a point thanks primarily to Doncic and Ben Simmons’  collective efforts, but that was as close as they got. Team USA pulled away in the fourth quarter as they went on to win 161-144.

Simmons led the way for Team World, as he finished with 30 points on 14-17 shooting on a squad where, outside of Simmons, the scoring was pretty well spread out as Doncic, Markaanen, DeAndre Ayton, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Rodney Kurucs, OG Annonuby, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Okogie all had 10 points or more.

Team USA had a few standouts, including Kuzma (35 points on 15-27 shooting), Tatum (30 points on 12-24 shooting), Donovan Mitchell (20 points, nine assists, seven rebounds), and Trae Young (25 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds). All were deserving of the MVP, but the award ultimately went to Kuzma.

Tonight, we go a little deeper into All-Star Weekend with the Dunk Contest, Three-Point Shooting Contest, and the Skills Challenge. Stay tuned!

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NBA Daily: Can Tobias Harris Put the 76ers Over the Top?

Shane Rhodes breaks down whether the addition of Tobias Harris can push the 76ers into the NBA Finals.

Shane Rhodes

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The Philadelphia 76ers made perhaps the biggest move of trade season when they acquired Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers. Harris, in the midst of a career year, was on the path to a lucrative contract come this summer. But, with an uncertain future in Los Angeles, Philadelphia capitalized and made their move to win now.

In doing so, the 76ers have put together, arguably, the most talented starting roster in the Eastern Conference. But what exactly does Harris bring to the team, and can he put them over the top of their competition in the East?

Harris has very much looked the part of an All-Star this season and has given Brett Brown and the 76ers coaching staff yet another weapon with which to attack defenses. The 26-year-old has posted career highs in points (20.7), rebounds (7.8) and assists (2.8) per game, field goal percentage (49.7) and three-point percentage (43.0) this season and should prove a significant upgrade over Wilson Chandler, who was sent to Los Angeles in the trade, on both offense and defense.

In a superior lineup, his Harris’ play should only improve as well.

His statistical values may dip with the move to Philadelphia, but, in a way, the team may look at that as a positive; with so many talents on the floor together, Brown, in theory, should be able to utilize Harris in order to reduce wear and tear on his other players — namely Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler — and keep them somewhat fresh for the postseason, if not at the expensive of some personal stats.

Harris is another player that can handle the ball and should lead to even more movement within the 76ers offense. He has shown over the years an ability to push the ball up the floor in transition and should relieve some of the pressure from Simmons in that area as well. In the event that he is the lone star on the floor, or should the ball movement stop, Harris able and willing to break out his do-it-himself kit; he may not dance a defender like Kyrie Irving, but he is more than capable of sizing up his man and either hitting a shot in their face or brute-forcing his way to the basket.

Harris is a more-than-capable shooter and, off the ball, should provide Simmons with another reliable perimeter outlet and open things up on the interior open things up inside for him and Embiid as well.

Defensively, Harris isn’t a wizard, but the effort and energy are there and should shine in the already competent 76ers defense. While it may not be ideal in all situations, Harris has the size to bang down low with some centers and the quickness to keep up with smaller players on the perimeter. Harris’ length — a near seven-foot wingspan — should also prove an asset, as he will allow the defense to switch on almost every possession. In the postseason, that could prove invaluable.

As good as this acquisition may look on paper, it isn’t without its cons or risks. Harris’ is another primary option on a team that already had three of them in Embiid, Simmons and Butler; could the presence of too many options bog things down a la the Boston Celtics earlier this season?

His contract situation, alongside the impending free agency of Butler, should give some pause as well.

The team has hedged its future on those two players and given up some good (and some great) assets to acquire them. Should Butler leave, Harris would provide the 76ers with the ultimate insurance policy but, should both players move on after the season it could set the team back years.

The 76ers have plenty of pre-existing issues to figure out as well, a losing record against their chief Eastern Conference competition — Milwaukee Bucks (0-1), Toronto Raptors (1-2) and Celtics (0-3) — most prominent among them.

But, with Harris in the fold, the 76ers seem to have all the pieces of the puzzle. If the players can put it all together, they could very well find themselves in the NBA Finals come June.

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Gordon Hayward Clearing Hurdles, Finding Joy In Comeback From Injury

Spencer Davies sits down with Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward to discuss the first half of his season, returning from a devastating injury and the team blocking out the noise.

Spencer Davies

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As his Boston Celtic teammates got some shots up to prepare for a morning practice in Cleveland, Gordon Hayward sat in a chair on the baseline watching.

Quicken Loans Arena held a particular place in his mind. Not because of a championship memory, nor for any individual accomplishment.

But because nearly five months after an emotional return and season debut, Hayward had come back to the scene where the course of his career shifted in an instant.

“It’s something that I was thinking about sitting in the hotel last night,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders before shootaround at The Q. “Like, last time I was here, my whole world changed. I’ll probably think about it, be a little anxious about it at the beginning when I first check in, but then when I get going it’ll be fine.”

If there was any trepidation, it was either short-lived or didn’t show. The 28-year-old looked as confident as ever, packing a powerful punch off the bench as a scorer and a distributor for a depleted Boston team. He finished with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“I didn’t even think about that until this morning,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said of Hayward’s return to Cleveland. “I thought about it in the preseason and then for whatever reason, I probably should’ve thought about it.

“I just think he has played enough now where he’s past that initial hurdle, right? So it’s probably not fun to walk out on the court the first time and shoot around and those type of things but ultimately, I think he probably moved past that really quickly. I thought he was great tonight, both ends of the court. I thought his offensive playmaking passing the ball was as good as his scoring.”

Hayward has scored 20 points or more on just three different occasions this year. It’s a far cry from the All-Star numbers he used to put up nightly. He understands, however, that perseverance is necessary as he slowly, but surely gets re-acclimated to playing.

“Physically, I’ve felt pretty good. I think I’m definitely moving way better than I was at the beginning of the season,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “I’m getting more and more confident with each month, each week. There’s definitely still games where I just don’t feel like myself, but I think I’m trending in the right direction.”

When asked about those areas that don’t feel right yet Hayward pinpointed attacking the basket, specifically going at big men in the paint, taking contact and finishing.

Knowing that he can go up, get hit and be able to come down fine is a mental hurdle Hayward admittedly still has to clear—and the only way to get past that is repetition.

“You just have to do it, and do it more than one time,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “It’s like an experience-type thing. You’ve got to just do it and feel confident doing it, and until that happens, then you’ll just keep thinking about it.”

Once Hayward is driving and dunking on a regular basis without thinking about what happens next, he says he’ll officially be back. Until then, an appreciation of being able to play the game he loves again is the true big picture—especially after an injury that could’ve taken it all away from him.

“That’s been a mental thing as well is trying to find some joy in just the fact that I’m back out on the court,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “Because some people don’t return from that and a blessing that we have the technology that we do these days that they were able to fix my ankle. So I guess just being patient with the whole thing, that’s been a challenge.”

CELTICS A WORK IN PROGRESS

Coming into the 2017-18 season, the excitement in Boston was palpable. Hayward signed a four-year maximum contract with the Celtics that summer. Shortly thereafter, Danny Ainge made a blockbuster deal to acquire Kyrie Irving, creating a dynamic duo to begin a new era of C’s basketball.

The Celtics started the campaign on the road against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Cavaliers in October. Since the storyline of the night was Irving facing off against the franchise he had won a championship with on opening night, Hayward’s debut took a bit of a back seat…until the unthinkable happened.

Less than halfway into the first quarter, Irving saw a cutting Hayward with an open path to the rim and threw up a lob looking for an alley-oop finish. Cleveland’s Jae Crowder and LeBron James came to double before Boston’s pair could connect, leaving Hayward afloat in an awkward position.

Hayward came down almost horizontally, with only his left leg there to brace himself for the fall. Tragically, he dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia simultaneously in one of the most gruesome moments in the history of sports.

As he was consoled by trainers and wheeled away on a stretcher with an air cast, the whole arena was dead silent. Players from both teams were praying in disbelief of what they’d just witnessed. Just like that, Hayward’s season was over, and even perhaps his career.

Following multiple successful surgeries and going through rehabilitation programs over the course of a year, Hayward was able to make a miraculous return to the court on October 16, 2018. He’s been on the floor for 26 minutes per night, playing in 53 of 58 total games.

Just as Hayward has tirelessly ground away to get back to form, so have the Celtics. With a healthy Irving and returning Hayward, along with the group that unexpectedly went seven games into the conference finals last year, they were supposed to be the top dog in the East.

It’s no secret that the Celtics boast an abundance of young talent. Jaylen Brown has shown plenty of growth after a shaky start to the season. Terry Rozier is on track to get paid in the offseason by a team in need of a starting point guard. Jayson Tatum is Boston’s second-best scorer (16.5 points per game) and rebounder (6.3 boards per game) at just 20 years old.

That goes without mentioning rookie center Robert Williams. Daniel Theis and Brad Wanamaker, while not quite as young, are two inexperienced NBA players who have overseas experience. The Celtics’ depth is a quality that is necessary for a deep run in the postseason.

“I think anytime they have an opportunity, they seem to make the most of it. That’s at every position,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders.

At the halfway mark headed into the All-Star break, Boston holds fifth place, locked in a battle with the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers for the three seed. The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors each have 43 wins with over five games separating them from the trio of teams behind them.

Despite back-to-back blown leads and losses to both Los Angeles franchises at the TD Garden, the Celtics have won 12 of their last 15 contests.

“I think when we all play with energy and when we’re connected defensively – and offensively, for that matter, but especially on the defensive end – we give ourselves a chance to win the game,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “Then, when we are able to move the ball and put together games where we have 30-plus assists, that’s when we’re really tough (to beat).”

TUSSLING WITH THE MEDIA

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, though. Early in the season, there were many things said by multiple players on the record, including some pointed words from Irving in more than one instance. These comments can be twisted and turned easily.

Add in an example: the day he told reporters, “Ask me July 1,” regarding his free agency plans, it turned into a big mess of speculation. What many people didn’t hear was Irving’s thoughts regarding the media’s spin on what was actually going on.

“This is like college recruitment for me all over again. I don’t know. This is just weird,” Irving said to the scrum of reporters in New York. “It’s a new position to be in answering all these questions, seeing all this stuff that I’m trying to avoid, and it’s just a distraction. It’s crazy how stories and things and storyline can seep into a locker room. You guys are part of the destruction of locker rooms. That’s just what it is….”

Hayward had plenty of his own thoughts on the matter.

“I mean, I think certainly all outside noise has an opportunity to put a wedge between people and between teammates,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “I think especially in today’s age where there’s social media and information is right now, all-the-time, like everybody sees what everybody says. There’s guys that are paid to give their opinions on things and, if you read into all that stuff, can definitely put a wedge in between guys.

“More than anything, just talking to people,” Hayward said of the proper remedy. “If you have an issue with somebody, just tell ’em, talk to ’em. But I think for the most part if you block all that stuff out and really just focus on yourself as a group and what the coaching staff is saying and what your teammates are saying, it’s usually better.”

FATHERHOOD IS A BLESSING

We talked about the youth Boston has already, but Hayward isn’t in that same category anymore. While it’s not that he’s old, per se, he is a nine-year man in the NBA.

Hayward considers it “weird” that he’s the veteran now. Yet, at the same time, he doesn’t mind that time has flown by because of the gift of fatherhood. The injury he sustained was absolutely devastating.

But it put things in perspective for him, and no matter what happens from here on out with his career, Hayward will always be grateful for the most important thing in his life—family.

“No doubt. I think no matter what happens on the court, my girls don’t care,” Hayward told Basketball Insiders. “They just care that dad’s home and they want to play hot lava and play picnic and all that stuff. Like having three healthy kids and a wife at home, those things are good.”

If Hayward’s recent play is an indication of what we’re going to see from him moving forward, he might just get the best of both worlds.

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