LAS VEGAS — The news just keeps getting worse for the Utah Jazz on the Gordon Hayward front.
Although not nearly as devastating a blow as losing Hayward to Boston — as the All-Star recently announced would happen — the Jazz have not been able to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics, according to sources.
Barring an unexpected breakthrough in the next few days, no deal between the two teams will happen.
That means instead of salvaging something from Hayward choosing to see if the grass is greener on the other side of the country, the Jazz will come away from this demoralizing experience with nothing but an open roster spot.
In the aftermath of Hayward's decision, the Jazz attempted to work out a sign-and-trade with Boston to acquire small forward Jae Crowder in exchange for Hayward, among other assets, according to sources.
Those talks fell apart, however, as the week progressed.
The Jazz tried to make a deal work, but couldn't find a deal the Celtics believed was worth it.
Boston ended up agreeing to trade starting shooting guard Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons for Marcus Morris to clear enough salary space required to sign Hayward to a max contract that will pay the ex-Jazzman $128 million over four years.
Even without getting Crowder, the Jazz would have benefited from acquiring a traded player exception in a sign-and-trade.
In 2010, Utah was able to negotiate a sign-and-trade with the Bulls when Chicago-bound Carlos Boozer chose Michael Jordan's old team in free agency.
That TPE allowed the Jazz to later sign center Al Jefferson, something they would not have been able to do otherwise because of their salary situation. Utah only had to give up a second-round pick in that deal.
Though Hayward is receiving a lot of heat for the way his free-agency decision played out — his camp denied initial reports and he didn't announce his choice for another 5½ hours on Tuesday — his agent said the 27-year-old was amenable to assisting in a sign-and-trade deal.
The Jazz were hopeful that Hayward would push for a sign-and-trade to help Utah acquire some type of asset upon his departure.
"It’s not an issue at all," said Mark Bartelstein, Hayward's rep, reiterating a point he's made multiple times this past week. "If we can help the Jazz, we’re happy to do that. We have always been more than happy to do it; it’s just whether or not Boston and Utah can do something that makes sense."
The notion that Hayward is being spiteful on the way out of the place the All-Star called home for the past seven years simply isn't true, Bartelstein insisted.
Rather, the agent said the opposite is the case.
"Gordon," Bartelstein added, "has never, ever blocked a sign-and-trade."
Photos of Hayward shopping for a suit in Boston on Friday and having lunch at Panera with Danny Ainge on Saturday circulated on social media the past couple of days.
Although the NBA moratorium ended Friday, Hayward will not officially sign his deal with the Celtics until sometime next week after players involved in the Boston-Detroit trade have passed their physicals.