Gordon Hayward confirms he’s joining Celtics
After one of the crazier days in recent NBA history, with misinformation and sources all over the place, Gordon Hayward has officially joined the Celtics.
There’s no doubting that, either, as the All-Star small forward is the source that has confirmed his move.
It was in a piece penned for the Players’ Tribune just before 8 p.m. that Hayward confirmed his decision to leave the Jazz for the Celtics in a heartfelt thank you letter.
“And now I’ve decided to sign with the Boston Celtics,” Hayward wrote towards the end of his letter.
“There were so many great things pulling me in that direction. There was the winning culture of Boston, as a city — from the Sox, to the Pats, to the Bruins.”
That winning culture was one of the focal points of Hayward’s nine-hour Sunday meeting with the Celtics, too, which featured a jumbotron presentation at Fenway Park.
But ultimately, the connection that everybody said was overblown — the relationship between Hayward and Celtics coach Brad Stevens from college to now — was the one that ultimately seemed to come through and work to the C’s advantage over the Heat and Jazz.
“There was the special history of the Celtics, as a franchise — from Russell, to Bird, to Pierce, and it goes on. There was the amazing potential of this current Celtics roster, as a team — from ownership, to the front office, to a talented roster with Isaiah, and Al, and everyone else,” Hayward continued. “And of course, there was Coach Stevens: Not just for the relationship that we’ve built off the court — but also for the one that we started building on the court, all of those years ago, in Indiana.
And that unfinished business we had together, back in 2010, when I left Butler for the NBA … as far as I’m concerned, all of these years later, we still have it:
And that’s to win a championship.”
With Hayward expected to come in at a max contract worth over $130 million over the next four years, the Celtics are going to have to make some tricky financial moves moving forward to make everything work. That likely begins with relinquishing the rights to some of their free agents, waiving players such as Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson (both players with non-guaranteed contracts), and moving somebody like Jae Crowder or Terry Rozier via trade.
The 27-year-old Hayward averaged a career-high 21.9 points per game for the Jazz this past season, while also shooting his best field goal percentage (47.1 percent) since his rookie season in which he shot at a 48.5 percent success rate.
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Source: GreenStreet Blog