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Bleacher Report predicts Gordon Hayward to pick Miami Heat

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Winner of the Gordon Hayward Sweepstakes may be the Heat.

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A new Bleacher Report article titled, Latest Rumors and Predictions for Gordon Hayward and More, concludes Gordon Hayward will don a Miami Heat uniform this coming season.

Smart money might suggest the Heat. Utah is a quality team mired in a wild conference and Boston seems to have a bit of a logjam at Hayward's position, not to mention an apparent hesitancy to make big moves. Miami has the weather, Whiteside and Riley going for it, with one superstar arrival away from making it a serious contender in the Eastern Conference again.

Prediction: Hayward signs with the Heat

The same article predicts Blake Griffin will land at TD Garden to play for the Celtics. The departure of Jimmy Butler from Chicago and Dwight Howard from Atlanta, along with the unhappiness of Paul George in Indiana and targeting of Toronto’s Kyle Lowry by Minnesota, could ease the path of Miami to gain a first-round home court seeding in the Eastern Conference playoff series.

How management will squeeze his contract into available cap space, without gutting the team, remains a mystery. If Hayward leaves Utah to land in 601 Biscayne Blvd, the Heat should be in the mix for a deep playoff run, depending on who remains from last season’s second-half team.

The roster transformation, which began with the drafting of Bam Adebayo, could be pretty intense with only $99 million in cap space available.


LOSS OF INNOCENCE

Speaking of disillusionment after “Bam’s” signing, Josh Richardson posted an ominous tweet about his possible desire to become a free agent and starter, at his age, on some team. Tyler Johnson, Rooks 1 and 2 could become spare pieces with an imminent roster shakeup.

Nike jumped in to sign Adebayo, as only one of seven draft picks, for a shoe deal. JR and JW pushed back further as part of the Heat’s plans down the future.


Following the Kevin Durant fiasco last summer, using the sign-and-trade tactic with Hayward’s consent, may be a possibility to shed a large contract in order to make his acquisition possible, using a third-party as a facilitator.

Luckily the 16th and 17th two-way roster spots give the team a little extra room to add temporary help, and added depth, without using cap space.

A lot going on next week with the start of free agency and Summer League.