Gordon Hayward is the most coveted free agent left in the NBA market this off-season. Hayward has decided to opt out of his final year of his contract with the Utah Jazz. If he does choose to take his talents elsewhere, the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat seem to be his likeliest destination. These teams have shown the most interest in acquiring Hayward and have been able to secure a meeting with him.

Hayward will first fly to Miami to sit down with the Heat on Saturday. He will then see the Celtics on Sunday and the Jazz on Monday. The Miami Herald reports that Hayward will be entering these meetings with an open mind and that he has no favorites so far. A source close to the player clarifies that the order of Hayward's visits does not mean anything. In reference to Hayward's likelihood of ending with the Heat, Celtics, or Jazz, the source said, “It’s still completely a tossup.”

Hayward, the last man standing

With Blake Griffin deciding to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, Chris Paul moving to the Houston Rockets, and Jimmy Butler and Paul George getting traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder respectively, Gordon Hayward remains the biggest available star in the NBA market this off-season.

The 27 year old small forward is coming off an All-Star season where he averaged 21.9 points, 3.5 assists, and 5.4 rebounds, and his 47.1 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from the perimeter are equally impressive.

Heat need Hayward

The Miami Heat need Hayward more than the other suitors. Pat Riley is fixated on building on the team's impressive second half of the season. The Heat wants to become relevant again in the Eastern Conference right away.

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However, they have not been able to draw the attention of big-name free agents so far. Hayward remains their last beam of hope.

Hassan Whiteside will be attending the meeting with hopes of luring Hayward into taking his talents to Miami Beach. What cannot be overlooked is that Whiteside, 28, is not getting any younger and cannot wait much longer to get some help in Miami. A one-two punch consisting of Hayward and Whiteside, with the help of a supporting cast that could include Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters or James Johnson, would certainly make the Heat a threat again.

It has also been reported that the Miami Heat could have set their eyes on versatile big man Serge Ibaka. The 27-year-old would be a valuable addition in this free agency. His defensive presence alongside Whiteside in the front court could become a nightmare for opponents.

Celtics and Jazz also on Hayward's radar

Hayward could reunite with his college coach Brad Stevens, so that is one card the Boston Celtics will play.

In addition, they will sell Hayward on the idea that he is their missing piece that would allow them to truly challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East Conference Finals. On the other hand, the Utah Jazz has acquired flashy point guard Ricky Rubio with hopes of convincing Hayward to remain with a solid team that reached the Western Conference semi-finals last season but can still improve. And yes, they can pay Hayward more than anyone else.

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