Teams cannot contact free agents until midnight on July 1, but NBA rules allow for players to speak with each other about free agency without it being a tampering violation. This is how Draymond Green was able to start the recruitment of Kevin Durant from the Warriors’ locker room after last year’s Finals loss to the Cavaliers, and we’ve seen more and more players trying to sway potential free agent signings to join them in recent years, both publicly and privately.
In the social media age, there are a number of ways to make contact with a player. For many, they already have their number and might shoot them a message, but let’s say you aren’t already friends with the top free agent on the market but want to start the recruitment process. How might you go about doing that?
Twitter might be an option, depending on if that player has his DMs open and you can slide on in there and start making your pitch. Another option is to go with Instagram, which also has DMs. That might be what’s happening with Gordon Hayward, one of the best free agents available this summer, who picked up an interesting follower in Celtics star guard Isaiah Thomas on Tuesday, per multiple people on Twitter who snapped screenshots of the activity.
Many expect Hayward to at least listen to pitches from outside of Utah, although the Jazz remain the favorites to retain him. The Heat have been connected to the Jazz swingman as well, but the Celtics can make a very intriguing case for Hayward to sign there. Not only are the Celtics a very good team in need of a wing upgrade, which Hayward would provide, but they are also coached by Hayward’s college coach at Butler in Brad Stevens.
That connection has made Boston an educated guess as to one of the teams Hayward might seriously consider this summer, and now it appears as though he might be getting a pitch from Isaiah Thomas. Maybe Thomas just wants to keep up with Hayward and had everyone’s worst nightmare and accidentally hit the follow button while creeping on him a little bit, but it’s way more fun to believe the former.