Gordon Hayward is heading Charlotte after signing a reported four-year deal worth $120 million with the Hornets. After spending the last three seasons with the Boston Celtics, the NBA veteran could not leave without sharing a special “thank you” message to the city.
Hayward took to his personal Twitter account to confirm the news. He expressed his sentiments playing with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens and his former teammates during his tenure.
Last season, Hayward averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds on 50% shooting. He also shot 38% from distance in 52 starts. He declined a $34.1 million player option to test the free-agent market.
“To the city of Boston, thank you for embracing me as your own these last 3 years,” Hayward shared. “I cannot say thank you enough to all the fans, my teammates, coaches and everyone in the organization I built such strong relationships with.
“I know there were some ups and downs, but I will always cherish my experience in Boston. I am forever grateful that I was given the opportunity to wear a
Celtics uniform and play in front of the Garden faithful.
“To the city of Charlotte, I can’t wait to start the next chapter in my career! I am ready to play for another incredible organization with the Hornets. Let’s get it!”
Hayward joins a Hornets team that is attempting to make a significant push this season. The Hornets have a nice mix of young talent in Devonte Graham and PJ Washington. The trio will pair with incoming rookie LaMelo Ball among others.
Ball was selected third overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. His ability to create plays could mesh well with Hayward on the floor. The NBA veteran will also likely assume the top-scoring role alongside Graham.
Injuries have hindered Hayward over the last few seasons. He suffered a foot injury and a hand injury in his time with the Celtics.
However, the Hornets have valued Hayward for a while. In 2014, they signed him to a restricted free-agent offer sheet that the Utah Jazz matched. Now 30 years old, Hayward has a chance to shine with a new squad.
The Hornets plan to waive Nicholas Batum in order to make room for Hayward. Batum was reportedly scheduled to make $27.1 million on an expiring contract.
Hayward has a chance to help the Hornets improve after a 23-42 finish last season. The organization has not had a winning season since the 2015-2016 campaign. It was also the last season the Hornets made the playoffs.