The Boston Celtics entered the offseason with grand designs.

After landing the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft – with plenty of other future draft pick assets and with maximum cap room easily within reach – this was supposed to be the summer the team finally began to accumulate the elite talent it was long rumored to get.

But after trading away the first pick, and then watching Jimmy Butler and Paul George get moved to other teams for less than compelling returns, Boston entered July knowing that pursuing Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward in free agency was their last chance to add an elite talent before they would have to begin making hard choices about what direction the franchise would head.

Now the Celtics have landed their difference-maker.

Hayward celebrated Independence Day by agreeing to join the Celtics. Boston has added one of the top players at one of the league’s weakest positions while the rest of the East is seeing a nonstop migration to the Western Conference.

George, Butler and Paul Millsap – three Eastern Conference All-Stars from last season – all moved West in the past two weeks, turning the Western Conference into a non-stop arms race while the East is largely made up of teams trying to go the other way.

For Hayward personally, this is a chance to become a prominent face of the league. The Celtics are one of the league’s flagship franchises and while the rest of the East is cratering, the Celtics – with Hayward – should be at or near the top of it for years to come.

Boston now firmly has positioned itself as the top alternative to the Cleveland Cavaliers atop the East. And while LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will aim to get the Cavaliers back to the NBA finals for a fourth straight year (and an eighth straight overall for James) next season, the questions already are floating around about whether James is looking to move on after next year when he becomes a free agent.

The questions are helped by the dysfunction at the top of the organization, with the owner, Dan Gilbert, failing to retain General Manager David Griffin, and could give the Celtics an opportunity to become the favorite as early as next summer.

What also will continue are the rumblings that if Anthony Davis is ever dangled on the trade block by the New Orleans Pelicans, the Celtics would give up a lot to try to get him.

But in the meantime they have a roster brimming with young talent – including Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the last two No. 3 picks in the draft. It’s an enviable position to be in, and one the Celtics only can make stronger with the several future first-rounders they have coming their way.

A far less enviable position is the one the Jazz finds themselves in now that Hayward is gone. Utah traded for Ricky Rubio to fill the void left by the departure of George Hill in free agency, and reached a four-year, $52 million deal with Joe Ingles to keep him out of restricted free agency and with the Jazz.

Those were moves made with the hope of retaining Hayward, who grew into a deserving all-star last season with the Jazz, and who, after seven years in the NBA, is entering his prime. He appeared to be a perfect complement to towering center Rudy Gobert as part of a team that would have been in the mix for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs even in the brutally tough Western Conference.

Now? The Jazz will be lucky to even make the playoffs.

Losing Hayward’s offense is going to be nearly impossible for Utah to replace at this point in the summer. After all of the acquisitions the teams out West have made, Utah is clearly behind several teams – the Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder among them.

And without Hayward, Utah easily could fall behind several more, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.

That’s 10 teams that now have cases of being as good as, or better than, the Jazz. With only eight open playoff spots in the West, that’s problematic math for Utah.

It’s also unfortunate because the Jazz slowly had built themselves into an intriguing team through smart draft picks, shrewd trades and free-agent signings, a team that appeared to be coming into its own after winning 51 games this past season and advancing to the second round of the playoffs despite never seemingly being healthy at any point.

But for all the success the Jazz had, they couldn’t stop Hayward from testing free agency. And once he got out on the open market, Utah couldn’t control what happened next.

What did happen was the Celtics finally got their man.