The Boston Celtics made the necessary transactions to grant Gordon Hayward his four-year contract, at the maximum-salary of $128 million, on July 14, 2017.
As a free agent, Hayward met with the Utah Jazz, Miami Heat, and the Celtics. Then weighed the decision to leave Utah, before announcing on July 2, to join the Celtics.
The Celtics did not have the cap space needed to sign Hayward to the maximum contract he was anticipating. They needed to open up their finances while maintaining a competitive team. The Celtics traded Avery Bradley for Marcus Morris and waived Jordan Mickey to create a cap room of $3.8 million.
Hayward made the decision to join the Boston Celtics, on July 4, and waited for the organization to make the transactions necessary to offer him the four-year, $128 million contract. He said he chose the Celtics because there was something different about the team that gave him a “special feeling” and won him over.
Boston head coach Brad Stevens recruited and coached Hayward at Butler University, however, Steven stated he “focused on the future and not the past” when talking to Hayward about joining the Celtics. Steven shared that his own transition was difficult and he showed empathy and patience while the new recruit made the decision to leave the Utah Jazz, after seven years.
However, Hayward talked about Butler’s 2010 loss to Duke for NCAA championship. He is looking forward to playing for another title with Stevens and the Celtics. This time, Hayward will be in Celtics green, in Ray Allen’s No. 20 jersey. No one has worn this number since 2012, when Allen left to play for the Heat.
Danny Ainge said, “[Hayward] could fit with any team. He can play 1 through 4 positions. And he can handle the ball. He can play off the ball. He can defend multiple positions. He’s a hard-nosed and very unselfish player that is capable of taking over stretches of games.”
The Celtics are expected to sign Guerschon Yabusele, Abdel Nader, Semi Ojeleye, and Aron Baynes to complete their 2017 roster, according to ESPN.
Written by Joshua Powell
Contributed to and Edited by Jeanette Smith
ESPN: Hayward had ‘special feeling’ about Celtics
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