A thought on something directly related here.
I think it is obvious, based on his career, that Hayward is the "best" player on the team, or, tied with Walker.
Thus, the natural inclination is to have your "best" player start.
I am wondering if that is really the plan.
I suggest, in answer to this particular question, that the starting line up will feature:
Theis or Grant or Semi
Off the bench
An argument can be made that these players above are
going to get "all" the minutes.
I understand that Theis, Semi and Grant Williams are bench players, but, I don't remember seeing Stevens "go small" that often in the first 7 or 8 minutes of a game and Danny Ainge has not supplied a "power forward" for this year's team beyond a rookie and some bench guys.
None of this has anything to do with Hayward beyond...what the hell is Ainge thinking not replacing Horford? It jerks the line up around and puts bench guys to close to starting roles.
Thus, I've just gotten out of the meeting with the Ainge's and Stevens.
Danny stated he's "working on" some potential trades to solve the issue.
Stevens doesn't want to start Hayward as, if there is a problem with his play in the first 20 games? He doesn't want the pressure/drama of demoting him. I really think this is in play. Last season was a disaster for the team including Hayward....remember?
I suggest Grant will play into the starting role barring a trade. Grant is square on defense and has the SEC record for most consecutive foul shots made or something like that. Despite the fact that he's small, he works underneath really well with guys that are bigger than he is which is just about everybody. Watch the highlights of Tennessee Florida. Grant is the smallest guy on the court.
I hope Ainge gets a veteran power forward in here, but, the above option is on the table....along with, of course, re signing Sullinger.
In the meantime? Hayward goes for sixth man award which may, in fact, give him more influence on the team than starting.