Thank You, Utah. https://t.co/ICfocNeZfW
— Gordon Hayward (@gordonhayward) July 4, 2017
Free agent Gordon Hayward has agreed to a four-year, $128M deal with the Boston Celtics, league source tells The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 4, 2017
IT’S OFFICIAL! After conflicting reports ALL DAY, Gordon Hayward has finally announced that he will be joining the Boston Celtics. Shams Charania of The Vertical (new Woj) was the first to report that Hayward would be signing a four-year, $128M deal. The road to get to where we are now was a pretty annoying one. If you haven’t been keeping up on twitter, here’s what happened:
Free-agent Gordon Hayward plans to sign with the Boston Celtics, league sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 4, 2017
So around 1:17 PM, Chris Haynes of ESPN sent out this tweet that Hayward planned to sign with the Celtics. Obviously, Celtics twitter lost their collective minds when hearing the news. And shortly following his tweet, some of the most reliable NBA reporters in the game were confirming this report. But then, Woj stepped in:
Gordon Hayward’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, tells ESPN: “Gordon hasn’t made a decision yet. We are still working through it.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 4, 2017
This, along with others confirming this information, sent NBA twitter into an absolute frenzy. There were endless amounts of speculation, rumors, conspiracy theories, and even memes. Hayward took over the 4th of July by doing absolutely nothing. But after hours and hours of waiting, Hayward finally penned his farewell letter to Utah in the Player’s Tribune, and announced he would be joining the Celtics.
In his letter, he mainly addressed the fans in Utah, thanking them along with the organization for taking him and his family in during his seven years there. But after he thanked the Jazz faithful, he talked about what led him to join the Celtics. He noted that head coach Brad Stevens played a very big factor in his decision making. Thinking back to when he decided to leave Butler for the NBA, he said that Stevens played a huge role in making one of the toughest decisions of his life. And here he was again with a tough decision to make, with Brad Stevens by his side yet again. He also stated that he and Brad have “unfinished business,” after losing in the National Championship. Along with Stevens, he described the winning culture of Boston, and the Celtics great young core as other key factors in his decision making process.
So what does this mean for some of our current Celtics? Well to start, I think Jae Crowder is long gone. They have to get rid of either him, Avery Bradley, or Marcus Smart to create the max space for Hayward. With the collection of small forwards on the Celtics roster now, getting rid of Crowder would make the most sense. He also has a very team-friendly contract, which I’m sure any team would love to take on. Along with Crowder, the Celtics also officially renounced their offer to Kelly Olynyk, making him an unrestricted free agent (according to Woj).
Hayward’s scoring could take this team to another level, but I still think they’re a piece away from beating the Cavs. With all of the East’s stars heading West this off-season, there’s no doubt the C’s will be a lock for either the 1 or 2 seed. I’d be shocked to see them any lower than that.
This is obviously a huge get for the Celtics on so many different levels. It not only helps them on the court, but off as well. Other guys are going to see what they are starting to build in Boston and maybe want to be a part of it. Signing Hayward and selecting #3 in the draft is what I would consider a successful off-season. The future is looking incredibly bright for this team.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)