UPDATE: According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, Gordon Hayward has agreed to that a four-year deal with the Boston Celtics:
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
Arguably one of the biggest names in NBA free agency this summer was Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz. Although many believed Hayward would simply re-sign with the Jazz as they are a team on the rise in the Western Conference, the small forward was willing to consider his options with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat in the running to lure him away from the team that drafted him in 2010.
On Tuesday, things got a bit interesting and confusing in the Hayward sweepstakes.According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, after meeting with all three teams and considering his options, Hayward has had decided to sign with Boston:
Free-agent Gordon Hayward plans to sign with the Boston Celtics, league sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 4, 2017
The Celtics’ top priority this summer was bringing in another star or two to play alongside All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas. Paul George was thought to be a strong contender to be that second star and it was thought to be highly likely that Danny Ainge would pursue a trade to land him if the team signed Hayward.
Unfortunately for Boston, the Indiana Pacers weren’t looking to trade George to an Eastern Conference team and surprisingly sent him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a deal no one saw coming. The Celtics moved forward with their pursuit of Hayward regardless and were thought to have an agreement in place.
However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Hayward has yet to make a decision on where he’ll be signing:
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
If Hayward signs with the Celtics it will reunite him with his former Butler head coach, Brad Stevens. The 27-year-old is expected to give strong consideration to joining Boston with Stevens being a major draw along with the fact the team needed another star to be a legitime title contender in the East.
The Celtics were able to bring in a promising young talent in Jayson Tatum with the third pick in the NBA Draft. Tatum, Thomas, and Hayward would be a solid start to what could be a serious threat to the Cavs next season and for the foreseeable future.
However, the waiting game continues with no telling if Boston will be his next destination.