Gordon Hayward, in what has become something of a July 4th tradition, has announced his new destination in The Players Tribune.
The decision, which Gordon called “the toughest decision that I’ve ever had to make in my life,” said was made with one goal in mind – to win a championship. Hayward, who was a free agent, agreed to a four-year, $128M deal with the Celtics, finally giving Boston another star that they’ve been coveting with all of their available cap space. Going back to the Jazz was a legitimate possibility as well as taking his talents to the Miami Heat.
After thanking Utah for his years with the Jazz, Hayward explained that his relationship with Brad Stevens was a key component of his decision:
It was such a tough decision. But there was one person who I knew I could talk to about it from every angle, who I knew would give me the smartest and most honest perspective available: Coach Stevens.
Coach Stevens was so great about it, all of it. He helped me lay out my options, and talked it through from both sides … but in the end, when I needed it, he also gave me my space. And he also let me know that it was my choice to make — and that he would be there for me, on the other side of it, either way. And of course I ended up deciding to leave: I declared for the draft, and got drafted, and started my new NBA life in Utah. But it always meant a lot to me, to know how, in that moment, even with our lives at this strange crossroads together, Coach Stevens was someone I could count on.
During the 2017-2017 NBA season, Hayward averaged 21.9 points per game with 5.4 rebounds per contest while shooting .471 from the field and .398 from downtown. The 6’8″ small forward was drafted by the Jazz with the #9 pick back in 2010 and spent the last seven years in Utah.
Let’s get to it @gordonhayward ☘️⌚️☘️
— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas) July 4, 2017