Rick Bowmer, AP
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) and Boston Celtics forward Amir Johnson (90) look for a rebound during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Gordon Hayward and Utah Jazz fans are going to have to wait a while to reunite in Salt Lake City.
The NBA on Monday released the schedule for the 2017-2018 season, and Hayward’s Boston Celtics won’t play at Vivint Arena until March 28. The Jazz and Celtics will face off in Beantown on Dec. 15.
Utah will open its season in a renovated Vivint Arena on Oct. 18 against the Denver Nuggets. The regular season will conclude April 11 on the road against former Weber State star Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.
While the season will end just a day earlier than it did in 2017, it’ll start a week earlier than it did in 2016 as the NBA continues to make an effort to give players more rest. The 2016 start date was a week earlier than it had been for a number of years.
Of the Jazz’s first 14 games, 10 will be on the road before a four-game road trip in November. Their six contests in April will consist of three home games and three away games, all against Western Conference opponents.
The LA Clippers, who Utah beat in the first round of the playoffs last season, will be in Salt Lake City on Jan. 20 and April 5. The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, who swept the Jazz in the second round, will be at Vivint Arena Janu. 30 and April 10.
LeBron James and the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers will come to town on James’ 33rd birthday, Dec. 30. The first pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz, will be at Vivint Arena with the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 7.
Former University of Utah forward Kyle Kuzma, second overall pick Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers make appearances in the Beehive State Oct. 28 and April 3, while former Lone Peak star Frank Jackson will come to town with the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 1 and Jan. 3.
Utah will have a season-long six-game road trip Dec. 9-20 and a homestand of that same length from Feb. 12-March 2, with the All-Star break interrupting it from Feb. 15-22. There will be 16 back-to-back sets, with six of them being two road games on consecutive nights.
Utah is slated to play on national television 11 times. Five will be on ESPN, four will be on NBA TV and two will be on TNT.