Report: Gordon Hayward plans to sign with Celtics
In what was a three-team race between the Celtics, Heat, and Jazz, All-Star small forward Gordon Hayward has made his decision, and will take his talents to Boston according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
But, as is often the case with anything of this magnitude, Haynes’ report is being met with conflicting reports, including those from the Godfather of basketball media, Adrian Wojnarowski, who has noted that Hayward’s agent has informed him that Hayward has not yet made a decision.
If and when the deal with the Celtics is finalized, it is assumed to be a four-year, max contract for just over $130 million.
In a long weekend spent jetsetting between the Miami, Boston, and then San Diego (the Jazz braintrust, led by the team owner, president, and general manager — along with several of Hayward’s teammates — opted to meet Hayward at his California home), the 27-year-old’s Hayward decision to sign with the Celtics would mean that he was ultimately wooed enough by the C’s presentation.
It was in Boston that Hayward was met by Celtics president Danny Ainge, head coach Brad Stevens (Hayward’s college coach at Butler), and superstars Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas. Their presentation, which apparently lasted over nine hours, included a visit to Fenway Park, where Hayward was shown a lengthy centerfield jumbotron montage of great C’s moments (and with videos of NBA players talking about what it’s like to play in Boston), and a closing message from Red Sox legend David Ortiz.
The Indiana-born Hayward did meet with the Jazz after his trip to Boston, as mentioned above, but without much else to be discovered between Hayward and the only NBA team he’s ever known in his career, the four-hour meeting apparently didn’t do enough to talk Hayward into re-signing with the Jazz that night.
A decision to land with the Celtics would bolster an already strong cast headlined by Horford and Thomas (who finished fifth in MVP voting this past season), Hayward’s move to the Celtics would give the C’s their closest thing to a three-headed monster since the days of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, a team that captured one NBA title (2008) and went to another (2010) during their run together. With Hayward being a free agent signing and not a trade, the move would also protect the C’s deep treasure chest of assets, which could still be used to acquire a fourth superstar if Ainge views that as a need for the club to make a serious run beyond just an Eastern Conference title in an effort to take down the straight-up loaded Golden State Warriors.
Hayward, the ninth overall pick in 2010, averaged a career-best 21.9 points per game and broke the 1,600-point plateau for the first time in his career this past season.
Full article @ Report: Gordon Hayward plans to sign with Celtics
Source: GreenStreet Blog