If you don't know the whole deal with Hayward, he is a former Butler star back when Brad Stevens was the coach and will now be a free agent this summer. Celtics fans already began their recruitment of the 26-year-old by cheering him on at TD Garden, something Crowder did not take kindly.
Thomas and Hayward got to spend some time together this weekend, not just during the All-Star game but during the Skills Competition as well. The two were matched up against each other in the semifinals of the tournament and after multiple missed shots, Hayward sunk the three to eliminate IT4:
#GordonHayward came to take the 🏆— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 19, 2017
Advances to #TacoBellSkills Final after outshooting #IsaiahThomas pic.twitter.com/sa2GEasgwu
All I took from this is was that great dap at the end, but maybe there's actually much more to dissect! Masslive.com's Tom Westerholm has a deeper theory in which Isaiah used the actual competition as a recruitment tool:
Thomas, as we all know, is a master recruiter who began pitching Al Horford at last year's All-Star game. Was this yet another devious recruiting tool from Thomas? Let's take a look at some evidence:
He allowed Hayward to catch up to him on the full-court layup, despite being much faster.
He took a suspiciously long time to get some of his 3-pointers in the air at the end, despite being well aware that Hayward is a very good 3-point shooter.
Just look at that dap. That's a very friendly dap.
No, this is all ridiculous.
Jokes aside, Isaiah did indeed start luring in Al Horford with subtle interactions at last year's All-Star weekend. They were seen laughing and having a good time together. Let's refresh ourselves:
#IsaiahThomas says a player, who he will not name, asked him about Boston... As in that player is interested in joining the Celtics.— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) February 13, 2016
I. Thomas said an all star this weekend asked him about Boston. When Al Horford's name was mentioned, IT smiled, "I didn't say (his name)"— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) February 13, 2016
So yea, maybe that's what Isaiah is working on with Hayward this year. Or maybe we are just overanalyzing a simple interaction and dap...I'm gonna stick with the former. Hayward to Boston in summer '17, put it in the books!
Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32
Photo by Celtics.com Erik Johnson 2/20/2017 10:50:00 AM Tweet Edit