A big part of the Boston Celtics pitch to Gordon Hayward was the fact that the Eastern Conference represents an easier path to The Finals, according to sources. The Miami Heat also pitched this issue but to a lesser extent.
While the Utah Jazz would surely be a contender for the Eastern Conference Finals, they're stuck playing in the West where they would surely remain behind the Golden State Warriors, and possibly the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets as well.
Hayward is also more likely to make All-Star teams in the Eastern Conference and possibly even start.
Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Memphis and Oklahoma City rank as the NBA's only metro areas shy of 1.5 million people, according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Yet those four NBA areas are all in the Western Conference.