In 2008, the Boston Celtics returned to basketball allure when they began a new era and formed the Big 3 featuring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen.


When this happened, it was looked at as one of the first of its kind with free agents coming together to join a star player, on his team, chasing a championship.


Since, we have seen a Big 3 in Miami, a Big 3 in Cleveland and now a Big 4 in Golden State. All of which has led to championships for each team.


It is now 2017, and the trend has come back to its original owner as the Boston Celtics have just signed highly touted free agent Gordon Hayward.


For Hayward, this is a homecoming of sorts as he is reunited with his college coach at Butler, Brad Stevens. Together, Hayward and Stevens brought back to life a Butler program that had all been forgotten in the college basketball world and carried them back into the forefront. Although their run had ended with a stinging loss to Duke in the 2010 National Title, there were hopes that they would be able to reunite in the NBA as Hayward was a first round lock in that years draft and many suspected that it was only a matter of time until Stevens would attract NBA attention and take his coaching talents there.


Later that year, Hayward was drafted by the Utah Jazz and a few years down the road, Stevens took the bait and became the head coach of the Boston Celtics.


Boston Globe

Even with both now being in the league together, it was far sighted to think that they would actually be able to come together again as a coach-player duo. I mean, Hayward had made a name for himself in Utah as the cornerstone of a franchise that was returning to prominence and a heavy fixture in the Western Conference playoff race with a solid young core. On the other side of the league, Stevens had brought the Celtics back from the dead and made them a legit contender in the East, also building around a young core of players in his own right.


In essence, it didn’t seem like it would make much sense for them to join forces again as their success had already been established in their respective situations.


On top of this, Hayward had enjoyed his best year in the league last season, averaging over 21 points and 5 assists while making his first all star team and leading the Jazz to the second round of the playoffs.


So why leave?


Well, in this current landscape of basketball, everybody is chasing the Warriors and the Cavs who have each developed super teams of sorts that show no signs of slowing down in their respective conferences. With LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and a bevy of three point shooters surrounding them on one team, teams in the East have been hastily making moves trying to catch up. With Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on one team in the West, teams have been trying to do the same, with some even giving their best players away looking to the future because they know they have no chance.


With all of this in mind, as well as the opportunity being presented to reunite with his college coach, Hayward decided to get out of dodge and come to Boston. With this move, the Celtics now have their second version of a Big 3 or the “Boston Three Party” with Hayward, Isiah Thomas and Al Horford as their core.


Boston Globe

This core is surrounded by players like Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder and potential young stars in Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum, creating a team that will give the Cavs a run for their money.


This is what they set out to do, right? Create a team with a good young core and surround them with players that shoot the three ball, defend multiple positions, do the dirty work and play their role.


When you have that, mixed with now two franchise talents in Thomas and Hayward, you have a receipt for potential success, especially in a weakened Eastern Conference with the West now being overloaded.


With all of this in mind, it’s safe to say that this Celtics team will make another legit run at the number one seed in the East and push the Cavs, who are still looking for a GM, all season. The continuity between Stevens and Hayward, as well as the already established continuity between the team as a whole, will bring an added dimension onto an already great team.


Hayward will add a legit go to option alongside Thomas and create another threat for teams to have game plan for. Hayward also brings the ability to handle the rock and pass very well which will take the pressure off of Thomas a little and allow him to score that much more as he will likely get more looks than he’s used to.


A potential lineup of Thomas, Bradley, Hayward, Horford and Olynyk gives you balance. You now have prime scoring in multiple areas, you have the ability to shoot the long ball, beat teams off the dribble, rebound effectively and get it done on the defensive end. Not to mention, you have dynamic players coming off the bench who can give you the same types of things.


So there you have it, Hayward signs with the Celtics and a new Boston Three Party in his full in effect and ready to engage in combat.


Do you think the Celtics will get past the Cavs this season with the signing of Hayward? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.