The Boston Celtics announced on Friday that they have signed All-Star forward Gordon Hayward. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“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.”
“I’m very happy to welcome Gordon and his family to the Celtics organization and the city of Boston,” said Celtics governor and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck. “He has improved his game every year in the NBA to an All-Star level. We have been patient during this rebuilding process, and hope to step forward and compete at the highest level.”
A first-time NBA All-Star in 2016/17, Hayward (6-foot-8, 226 lbs) logged career highs with 21.9 points (47.1% FG, 39.8% 3-PT, 84.4% FT) and 5.4 rebounds, while also adding 3.5 assists, 1.00 steal and 34.5 minutes in 73 games (all starts) with the Jazz last season. His 21.9 points-per-game scoring mark represents Utah’s highest single-season scorer since Karl Malone averaged 22.4 points in 2001/02. The Indianapolis, IN, native was also one of 10 NBA players to produce at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists while also shooting 47.0 percent or better from the field last season.
Hayward’s All-Star season culminated with a postseason run in which he averaged a team-best 24.1 points (44.1% FG, 41.2% 3-PT, 93.4% FT), 6.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 37.4 minutes in 11 playoff games for the Jazz. The versatile veteran scored 20 or more points in eight of those 11 contests – including a postseason career-high 40-point performance on April 21 vs the LA Clippers – helping guide Utah to its first Western Conference semifinals appearance since 2009/10.
“This is a big day in Celtics history,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “Adding Gordon as a current All-Star, in the prime of his career, to an already good group of players is reason for excitement.”
Continued Ainge: “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.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Gordon and his family to Boston,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “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.”
Originally selected with the ninth overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft by Utah, Hayward, 27, has posted career averages of 15.7 points (44.4% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 82.0% FT), 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.02 steals and 31.3 minutes in 516 games played (408 starts) over seven seasons with the Jazz. Hayward’s scoring totals have improved each year since he entered the NBA out of Butler University, making him the only NBA player to have increased his scoring in each of the last seven seasons.
Hayward will wear No 20 for the Celtics.