BOSTON (CBS) — At long last, Gordon Hayward has decided to be a member of the Boston Celtics.
It wasn’t a straightforward decision, as some conflicting reports on Tuesday had Hayward heading to Boston but then not actually making a decision.
But Hayward announced that he would be joining the Celtics through a Players’ Tribune piece. He also thanked Utah for his seven years there.
The 6-foot-8 forward averaged a career-high 21.9 points per game for Utah last season, earning his first All-Star nod. A 44 percent shooter for his career, Hayward hit a career-high 47 percent of his from the floor last season while draining 40 percent of his attempts from downtown.
In 15 career playoff games, Hayward has averaged 19.1 points on 44 percent shooting and 5.2 rebounds per game. He averaged 24.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 11 postseason games last season, as Utah beat the L.A. Clippers in the first round before getting swept by the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Celtics are hoping Hayward adds many more postseason games to his resume while in Boston.
Hayward should fit right into Boston’s system, having played under head coach Brad Stevens at Butler before being drafted ninth overall by Utah in 2010. The two made it to a NCAA National Championship Game in 2010, falling to the Duke Blue Devils when Hayward’s last-second, half-court shot didn’t fall.
Hayward met with the Heat, Celtics and Jazz over the holiday weekend before making his decision.
Danny Ainge’s next move is not yet known, after the Pacers hastily traded Paul George to the Thunder last week, thus disrupting the reported master plan of the Celtics to acquire both Hayward and George this offseason.