Hayward has put in a lot of work this off-season and it feels like he’s bursting at the seams to get the season started.
“Now having two years with the guys and the staff and building relationships and different things like that, it’s definitely better in that regard, too, so certainly I'm looking forward to this upcoming season and I’m ready to get it going."
As Forsberg points out, Brad Stevens doesn’t gush about his players. It’s not great practice to do that, but this quote on Hayward is telling.
"The investment has been well-documented over the summer. And you can see it. You can see it.”
And Hayward’s teammates are noticing too. Enes Kanter, who is not afraid to provide insight, and more importantly played three seasons with Hayward in Utah, had some emphatic words on his teammate.
"He’s back. He’s 100 percent back.” "He’s going to shock the world this year.”
"When Coach puts us in 5-on-5 [scrimmages during training camp], I always try to sneak on Gordon's team,” Kanter told NBC Sports Boston. "When I go against him I’m like, ‘Ugh.’ He’s good, man.”
On Wednesday, Hayward stated that his body feels “100% back.” This is obviously a great sign and it’s been reported that way all off-season. The biggest question now is his mental state. He is a former All-Star that needs to believe he can be an All-Star again. Since he feels good, hopefully the confidence will follow.