Gordon Hayward agent says forward will be an All-Star again, but won't regain Utah Jazz form until next year

John Tomase
March 02, 2019 - 12:17 pm
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Mark Bartelstein has no doubt that Gordon Hayward will regain his All-Star form, but even the agent for the Celtics forward admits it won't be this season.

Appearing on WEEI Late Night with Patrick Gilroy on Friday, Bartelstein expressed confidence that with a full offseason, Hayward will unlock the ability that him an All-Star in Utah and earned him a max contract with the Celtics.

"There's no doubt in my mind," Bartelstein said. "My guess is he doesn't get his game all the way back where we're accustomed to seeing it until next year. He's going to need a summer to get back in the gym and get back in the laboratory and the weight room and build on everything he did last year. But there's not a doubt in my mind. He'll be an All-Star in this league many, many times over."

Hayward has spent most of the season coming off the bench, contributing in a reduced role as he continues to work his way back from the devastating broken ankle that cost him all but five minutes of his Celtics debut.

He's averaging 10.8 points a game, the lowest total since his rookie year. His scoring average increased over each of his seven seasons in Utah, culminating in an All-Star berth two years ago when he averaged 21.9 points a game, but that kind of production hasn't been in the cards this year.

"I don't think people understand the severity of the injury, the second surgery, missing an entire season and a summer where you can't really go work on your game," Bartelstein said. "These are things you can't place the proper value on, so he's trying to do this in the course of the season. That's a difficult thing to do, because you don't even really practice much during the course of the season, the games come so fast."

With his explosiveness limited off the dribble and at the rim, Hayward has found other ways to contribute, particularly as a facilitator. Bartelstein firmly believes he'll look like the player everyone remembers next year.

"He'll be right back where we're used to seeing him," he said. "Everybody just needs to be a little patient with him, that's all."

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