Gordon Hayward’s time in Boston is over.
Hayward agreed to a four-year, $120 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The forward became an unrestricted free agent Friday evening after he declined his $34.2 million player option for the 2020-21 NBA season. The Pacers were considered the front-runner by many to acquire Hayward, but he would have had to sign with them via a sign-and-trade. The Knicks and Hawks also showed reported interest in Hayward.
Hayward’s time in Boston ends after just three seasons. He signed a four-year, $127.8 million contract with the Celtics in 2017, which was the richest contract in Celtics history at the time. His gruesome ankle injury in his first game with the Celtics defined his tenure, forcing him to miss the rest of the 2017-18 season.
In his second season, Hayward struggled to regain his All-Star form. He averaged just 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
Hayward bounced back this past season, averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. However, Hayward sprained his ankle in the first game of the playoffs, causing him to miss the rest of the first round, the entire second round, and the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. He struggled in the last four games of the series, averaging 10.5 points, four rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game and shot 40.5 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from 3-point range. The Celtics eventually fell to the Heat in six games.
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