Struggling Celtics bench Gordon Hayward for Aron Baynes

Yahoo Sports
The struggling <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/bos" data-ylk="slk:Celtics">Celtics</a> benched <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4724/" data-ylk="slk:Gordon Hayward">Gordon Hayward</a>, who had started the previous 339 NBA games he played. (Getty)
The struggling Celtics benched Gordon Hayward, who had started the previous 339 NBA games he played. (Getty)

The dream plan of adding Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to a team that finished one win short of the NBA Finals hasn’t exactly paid off so far for the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics have limped out to a 9-7 start, good for the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

And now they’re making a drastic change.

Gordon Hayward goes to the bench

When the starting lineup for Monday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets was announced, Hayward was not part of it. The small forward who signed a max deal with the Celtics two summers ago was replaced by Aron Baynes.

According to Celtics radio voice Sean Grande, Hayward had started the previous 339 NBA games he played.

Gordon played 30 minutes in the 117-112 loss, logging four points and eight rebounds on 1-of-6 shooting. Baynes’ starting status didn’t mean significant playing time as he logged two points and two rebounds in seven minutes.

Hayward’s production in Boston has dropped dramatically

Hayward, who missed all but the first few minutes of last season with a broken ankle, has seen a dramatic drop in production in his first action with the Celtics since leaving the Utah Jazz in 2017.

Through 15 games before Monday, Hayward was averaging 10.1 points on 39.9 percent shooting while hitting 29.8 percent of this 3-point attempts. In his final season in Utah, he averaged 21.9 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting while hitting 39.8 percent of his 3-point shots, helping him earn the four-year, $128 million deal he signed that offseason.

The 6-10, 260-pound Baynes has averaged 5.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 14 minutes per game off the bench, but provides a stronger inside presence in a starting lineup replete with wing talent in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

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