UPDATE: UH OH! Conflicting reports time!
So has he decided or hasn’t he? We’ll keep you updated.
UPDATE NO. 2: This just keeps getting weirder.
UPDATE NO. 3: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting Hayward has eliminated the Miami Heat.
Original post is below:
Gordon Hayward has made his decision, and he’s reportedly headed East to team up with his former college coach Brad Stevens. Yes, Hayward will be joining the Boston Celtics, as the team, and general manager Danny Ainge, have finally landed the big fish they’ve been after for two years now.
After meetings with the Miami Heat, Celtics and the Utah Jazz, Hayward took his time to consider all options. In the end he chose the team closest to competing, but his relationship with Stevens had to be a big factor in that decision.
Hayward broke out with his first All-Star season in 2016-17, becoming one of the NBA’s best two-way players. The 27-year-old averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 34.5 minutes per game. He shot a career-best 47.1 percent from the field and notched career-highs in true shooting percentage (59.5) and PER (22.23). On top of that the Butler product was 19th in the NBA in offensive win shares (7.1), 20th in defensive win shares (3.3), 15th in total win shares (10.4) and 17th in win shares per 48 minutes (.199). So yeah, he timed his breakthrough season well to align with free agency.
Meanwhile, Ainge has needed a win for a while. He’s done a great job stockpiling draft picks, but had yet to turn those assets into a top-level player. Now he’s added an All-Star without surrendering any picks or young players. After whiffing on Kevin Durant last summer, then missing out on landing Jimmy Butler and Paul George, Ainge finally got his guy.