NBA

Gordon Hayward.

Richard Jefferson calls Gordon Hayward "as complete a player as there can be"

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Cleveland Cavaliers veteran Richard Jefferson is about to embark on his 17th year in the NBA.

During that span, Jefferson has represented seven franchises and has been across both conferences.

He's been around the block and has been fortunate enough to play with many great players throughout his career.

RJ has been teammates with LeBron James for the last three years in Cleveland but he's also played with the likes of Jason Kidd, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and Stephen Curry since entering the league in 2001.

With that in mind, it's fair to say that the 37-year-old has become a good judge of talent as a result and recently made a strong statement about a player he spent a short time with.

In the summer of 2013, Jefferson was traded by the Golden State Warriors to the Utah Jazz and got to play alongside Gordon Hayward in Salt Lake City.

Despite only spending a year with the team, the small forward saw enough to determine just how good Hayward is.

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz - Game Three

Speaking on the Bill Simmons Podcast, he said: “I played with Hayward in Utah, he is about as complete a player as there can be. There is no flaws in his game, maybe except that he is too unselfish.”

The 27-year-old has improved drastically throughout his time in the NBA and was deservedly named an All-Star for the first time last year.

He has developed into one of the best small forwards in the league but he is still hugely underrated and often doesn't get the credit he deserves.

Last season, he averaged a career-high 21.9 points and was instrumental in Utah's excellent campaign that saw them finish fifth in the west and reach the second round of the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz - Game Three

However, the Indianapolis native departed Utah after seven years with the franchise to join the Boston Celtics as a free agent this summer.

He signed a huge four-year $128 million deal to team up with his former college coach Brad Stevens.

Funnily enough, Hayward was acquired by the Celtics to give them a better chance of overcoming Jefferson and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.

Boston was soundly beaten in five games in the conference finals by LeBron and his troops and had to make a big splash in the offseason to boost their roster with some star power.

Boston Celtics Introduce Kyrie Irving

Not many expected one of those boosts to come directly from Cleveland as Kyrie Irving was secured in a blockbuster trade.

Jefferson also paid tribute to Irving on the podcast calling him "special" and will be slightly worried by the tandem he and Hayward could form in Boston.

Our first glimpse of them together will be on the opening night of the new season when the C's coincidently take on the Cavaliers.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Richard Jefferson
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Kyrie Irving
LeBron James

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