BOSTON (CBS) — Gordon Hayward announced his intentions to sign with the Boston Celtics 10 days ago.
But the team had to clear some space on the roster in order to add the four-year, $128 million max contract the All-Star free agent commanded, so they had to remain quiet on the transaction. The Celtics finally announced the move on Friday afternoon, but Hayward was not in Boston to hold up his fancy new jersey (the team announced he’ll wear No. 20).
Instead, he issued a comment on his new home via a statement in a release by the team.
“Whether you’re talking about the team’s past, present, or future, the Boston Celtics are truly special,” said Hayward. “I can’t wait to be part of the winning culture of Boston, and to join my teammates and coach Stevens as we work together to bring Celtics fans Banner 18.”
“This is a big day in Celtics history,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge added in the release prior to meeting with the media at the team’s practice facilities in Waltham. “Adding Gordon as a current All-Star, in the prime of his career, to an already good group of players is reason for excitement.
“Gordon brings a great work ethic and character along with his ability to shoot, pass, and create offense in the pick and roll. His athleticism, size and versatility will allow him to fit in perfectly defensively as well,” continued Ainge.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens also issued a statement, and is happy to have his former Butler Bulldog enter the Celtics family.
“He’s a tremendous competitor and a great teammate who constantly seeks improvement, and consistently impacts winning. I am looking forward to working with him, once again, as we all continue to strive to compete for championships here in Boston,” said Stevens.
Hayward is coming off of a career year in Utah where he averaged a career-high 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, earning the first All-Star nod of his seven-year career.