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Sports Gordon Hayward explains why he left playoff-contending Celtics for Charlotte

23:00  01 december  2020
23:00  01 december  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

NBA free agency 2020: Ranking top 20 free agents, starting with Anthony Davis

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Gordon Daniel Hayward (born March 23, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Gordon Hayward is averaging 11.0 points per game, his lowest total in a full season since his rookie For the Celtics to find that path, Hayward needs to become his pre-injury self again, or at least Well, the championship- contending aspirations so many had for the Celtics will remain figments of their

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge wanted Gordon Hayward back in Boston though he knew it was a possibility Hayward wouldn’t return.

Gordon Hayward, 30, indeed preferred a new team.

Charlotte general manager Mitch Kupchak didn’t think his team had a chance to sign Hayward.

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Ainge didn’t get his wish. Kupchak ended up being surprised and Hayward is a Charlotte Hornet in the surprise move of NBA free agency in 2020.

Instead of returning to Boston for the final year of his contact, Hayward opted into free agency and signed a four-year, $120 million contract with the Hornets, who pursued him in 2014.

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Charlotte , with Hayward , can play rookie LaMelo Ball off the ball more and not have him as the primary Charlotte will be interesting to watch with Ball and Hayward , but making the playoffs Gordon Hayward officially is heading to the Hornets -- and the Celtics won't be left empty-handed

The one-time All-Star explained his decision to leave a conference finals team and join the Hornets, who have a young roster, haven’t made the playoffs in the past four seasons and haven’t won a playoff series since the NBA brought a franchise back to Charlotte in 2004-05.

“I never forgot the commitment and the potential that (Hornets owner) Michael (Jordan) and the organization saw in me years ago when they gave me an offer sheet and had signed that to come here back then and ultimately I got matched (by Utah),” Hayward said Tuesday in his first media availability with Charlotte. “That for sure was one thing but then more than that, just whole vision that the organization had, the front office as well as Coach Borrego of where this team could go, where they could get to, how they believed they could utilize me and the impact that they believed that I could have."

Four years, $ 120 million: Hayward leaves Boston

 Four years, $ 120 million: Hayward leaves Boston Gordon Hayward (30) leaves the Boston Celtics after three years and joins Michael Jordan's NBA team. © Getty Images From Boston to Charlotte: Gordon Hayward. And suddenly there is excitement after Charlotte: The long so dreary NBA franchise - of all things, that of owner Michael Jordan - immediately followed suit after the prominent first draft pick (LaMelo Ball) and signed Gordon Hayward.

Rachel Nichols, Amin Elhassan and Chiney Ogwumike discuss the broken hand injury to Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward , then (3:03) Adrian Wojnarowski

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced Sunday that forward Gordon Hayward has left the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, after suffering a Stevens added that Hayward plans to return to the bubble when he is close to being able to return to action. Hayward missed the second and third

Yes, a long-term deal worth $120 million for a player who dealt with injuries during his three seasons in Boston played a role in his decision.

Yet, if you listen to Hayward, he also relishes a larger role that wasn’t presenting itself in Boston as Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum emerged. Hayward averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists and shot 50% from the field.

He can bring his experience and talent – he says he’s still in the prime of his career and likes what the Hornets are trying to do with a young roster that features P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier, Devonte’ Graham and 2020 draft picks LaMelo Ball (third overall), Vernon Carey Jr. (32nd) and Grant Riller (56th).

“The potential is there for these young guys, so I’m excited,” Hayward said. “Having the ability to help us get to the next level, I think I’m somebody who can do a little bit of everything. The think I like to do most is play-make and create for others. Obviously in my career, I’ve done the scoring thing as well. I’m versatile. I can just help us try to impact our time with winning as much as possible. The pieces are there in place.

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Is Gordon Hayward all the Celtics need to get to the NBA Finals? — @rdamon42. A healthy Hayward simply changes the equation for Boston. He ’s another high IQ guy who can bust that So we’re left wondering if, say, Hayward helps the Celtics rally back in this series and propels them into

Gordon Hayward 's move to Charlotte is official, as the Hornets and Celtics reached a sign-and-trade agreement to move Hayward and create a trade exception for Boston. The Celtics will get Charlotte 's draft pick only if the Hornets finish in the top five in the league next season, so it's unlikely

a basketball player with a crowd watching: Gordon Hayward — Old team: Celtics. New team: Hornets. © Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Gordon Hayward — Old team: Celtics. New team: Hornets.

“Sometimes with a young team you just need to get over that initial hump to get to that next level. I’m excited about that opportunity and that challenge. Certainly, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. There’s no doubt about that."

Hayward said he has no ill-will toward the Celtics and wasn’t thinking about leaving while Boston played in the bubble.

“I had an unbelievable time in Boston,” he said. “I think it’s unfortunate what happened. Obviously, I had a freak injury right when I got there (season-ending fracture tibia and dislocated ankle in the 2017-18 season-opener). There’s a lot of things that were out of my control when I was in Boston. But like I said, I had a great time there. Still have great relationships with the people there and teammates and coaches, and my wife and I built relationships with members of the community and to this day, we still talk to them.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gordon Hayward explains why he left playoff-contending Celtics for Charlotte

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