Gordon Hayward's impending free agency has caused a public tug-of-war in the Ainge family.
As the Boston Celtics and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge await their chance to make a pitch to Hayward after free agency begins Saturday, Ainge's son Tanner, who is running for Congress in Utah, has repeatedly expressed a desire for Hayward to stay with the Jazz.
Late Wednesday night, Tanner Ainge tweeted at Hayward with a link to a news story about how Massachusetts is considering a "millionaire's tax" that could eventually elevate the tax burden for high-earners.
Hayward told the Jazz on Thursday that he is declining his player option for next season to become a free agent. The Celtics are in position to offer Hayward a four-year, $127 million contract. Hayward is expected to also visit with the Miami Heat. Florida does not have a state income tax.
During an appearance on Boston's 98.5 The Sports Hub last week, Danny Ainge, who has publicly supported his son's political ventures, laughed off how the Hayward pursuit could divide the family.
"Tanner's got five kids, a couple little boys, and some days I see them wearing Isaiah Thomas T-shirts, some days I see them wearing Gordon Hayward jerseys, and some days it's Dante Exum jerseys," he told the Toucher and Rich program. "They're big Jazz fans, and they live in that neck of the woods. I get all that."
Tanner Ainge previously made light of Hayward being a hot topic for him among voters who engaged him on social media. On May 22 he tweeted:
Campaign is about economic growth, innovation, fiscal responsibility...but twitter only talking about Gordon Hayward 😂@SpencerJCox— Tanner Ainge (@tannerainge) May 22, 2017
Earlier this month, when asked by the Deseret News about the Hayward tug-of-war, Tanner Ainge said: "Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have a lot of influence there. Ultimately, Gordon is going to make the decision. I hope he stays."
Another of Danny Ainge's sons, Austin, works in Boston's front office as the director of player personnel.