Reports presently conflict over whether Gordon Hayward has agreed to a contract with the Boston Celtics.
ESPN’s Chris Haynes first reported that Hayward would go to Boston. The Boston Globe and other outlets confirmed his report. CSN New England reports Hayward agreed to a four-year, $127.8 million contract.
Shortly after the first wave of news broke, TNT’s David Aldridge reported that Hayward had not yet decided. His agent Mark Bartelstein went on record with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski saying the same. USA Today’s Sam Amick reported the Celtics were made aware of Hayward’s decision.
Jazz president Steve Starks tweeted that he trusted Hayward and his agent on the fact that the Celtics had not come to a decision yet. Bartelstein told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe that they had planned on deciding Tuesday, but there has been “no final decision” and that “now we’ve got to kind of regroup here a bit.”
Hayward took a round of meetings with the Celtics, Jazz and Heat over the weekend. He is considered the biggest remaining free-agent domino on the market.
The signing would be a win for Boston, who have collected numerous draft picks and young players and chose not to trade the assets they’d collected to try and land a star player. Hayward would give them a high-level scoring option and additional shooting on the perimeter. Boston had the best record in the East last season but lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals.
The Jazz could sign Hayward to a five-year deal and offered him the most money after he chose to opt out of the final year of his contract. In Boston, he would reunite with his college head coach Brad Stevens, who recruited him to play at Butler.
Hayward averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Jazz last season, leading the team to their first postseason appearance in four years. The 27-year-old was selected by the Jazz with the ninth pick in the 2010 NBA draft. His scoring average has increased in each of his first seven NBA seasons and he was named to his first All-Star team this year.
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