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Gordon Hayward exit an ‘opportunity’ for Celtics youngsters

Celtics, Gordon Hayward, Hornets

Losing a veteran isn’t always a bad thing, especially if it means giving the younger guys more of an opportunity. That is what the Boston Celtics think will happen with the departure of Gordon Hayward.

Second-year Celtics forward Grant Williams thinks that the loss of Hayward will give the younger guys like himself more of an opportunity to show what they’re made of this season.

“You’re still a rookie until the first game of next season,” Williams told Celtics media on Saturday over a video conference,  via Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports. “I feel confident going into my second year. Losing Gordon is tough, but it gives a lot of us an opportunity to step up.”

The shortened offseason will make things tougher for the Celtics in building chemistry and confidence going into the season, but if Williams is feeling confident, it will certainly help the rest of the team feel the same way. On top of that, having a younger team may be helpful with the shorter offseason, as the younger players are able to recover quicker than the veterans are.

The Celtics will be shorthanded to start the season with Kemba Walker expected to miss an unknown period of time to start off the season. Newly acquired big man Tristan Thompson is also expected to miss training camp because of a hamstring injury, which would put Boston behind in building chemistry.

Grant Williams was drafted with the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Last season, he only averaged 15.1 minutes per game. However, that number will certainly rise this season with Hayward not there. The Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2020 playoffs.