There’s a good chance that Gordon Hayward is not a Boston Celtic if not for Isaiah Thomas, who was a relentless pitchman for the Celtics, according to Hayward.
“[Thomas] didn’t just help recruit me to Boston—he was a big piece of that recruitment,” Hayward, who chose a max deal in Boston over the same contract in sunny Miami (and even more money from the Jazz, his first and only NBA team), admitted in a blog on his website. “He had talked a lot about city and how it was different to be a Celtic. He talked about the intensity of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing at the Garden in the playoffs, and how much fun it was, and how much fun he had playing in Boston.
“All of that ultimately helped win me over,” Hayward continued, “and by the time of the trade, I had already started to build a little bit of a relationship with [Thomas].”
That’s not a shock, of course, as Thomas flew back to Boston to help with an in-person pitch to Hayward, and is also in line with basically everything Thomas did to make Boston a destination for any and every available star player during his tenure with the Celtics. (It’s also just wincing twist that makes you realize how cold the C’s were to Thomas given what he had done for them over the last two offseasons.)
But Hayward is still excited about the potential that comes with playing with the man Isaiah Thomas was traded for, the 25-year-old All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
“Being able to play with Kyrie is an amazing opportunity. He’s a guy who can really do it all,” Hayward wrote. “He has the ability to score one-on-one, score in clutch situations, get his own shots. He’s also a playmaker, and someone who can make the game easier for me. He’s going to give me more space, because the defense has to respect him.
“Whether he’s driving, or because somebody shifts off of me to go to him, and he can kick it out, I will have more space,” Hayward, clearly thrilled with the options the C’s will have this season, added. “Just his presence on the floor will do that for me. And of course, I can always kick it right back to him, too. The fact that he can score as well as he does and finish as well as he does—it just gives us another huge weapon.”
Irving was not the only Celtic praised in Hayward’s blog, which also mentioned Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and the dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
The 27-year-old Hayward averaged a career-high 21.9 points per game for the Jazz last 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.
Full article @ Gordon Hayward credits Isaiah Thomas for selling him on Boston
Source: GreenStreet Blog