Celtics

Celtics officially announce Gordon Hayward signing

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Celtics officially announce Gordon Hayward signing

It's official. The Celtics announce the signing of free agent Gordon Hayward. 

Here's the team's official press release:

BOSTON, MA –The Boston Celtics announced today 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 (6-8, 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% 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 number 20 for the Celtics.

 

Baynes in Celtics starting lineup in battle with Whiteside

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Baynes in Celtics starting lineup in battle with Whiteside

Brad Stevens has said on more than one occasion the Boston Celtics’ starting lineup may fluctuate based upon who they play which is indeed the case against the Miami Heat tonight.

Stevens said 6-foot-11 center Aron Baynes will replace Marcus Morris in the starting lineup tonight to help battle Miami 7-footer Hassan Whiteside. He will join a unit that includes Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.

Boston defeated Miami earlier this season 96-90, but Whiteside did not play due to injury.

“We’ve mixed and matched all year with our starters,” Stevens told reporters.

Regardless of who the Celtics were playing tonight, there was a good chance that Baynes would be in the starting lineup for Morris who is having some more soreness in his left knee which sidelined him for the first eight games of the season.

Morris, who has started the last four games and seven of the last eight, is questionable to play tonight.

“We’ve been trying to manage his minutes the best that we can,” Stevens said. “But for whatever reason, he had a little bit (of soreness) in Dallas. He feels a lot better, two days later. But we want to make sure.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

 

Streak reveals depth even Celtics didn't know they had

Streak reveals depth even Celtics didn't know they had

Coaches in all sports will tell you that winning is not easy.
 
Making the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak even more impressive is that a number of the victories have involved Boston turning to some unlikely sources of production.

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And that has provided a glimpse into a franchise that’s getting the best of both worlds: quality play from its core group while developing reserves who have contributed to the team reeling off 16 straight wins in a variety of ways.
 
Because coach Brad Stevens has gone deeper into his bench this season than past years, it has created a roster with minutes more evenly distributed and with that, less wear and tear on the bodies of key players.
 
And while this team is led by Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, there has been at least one other Celtic to emerge as a top-three performer every night...and often it’s not the same player.
 
“Much more unpredictable now,” a league executive texted to NBC Sports Boston. “That number three guy, is it [Jaylen] Brown? [Jayson] Tatum? Sometimes it’s Marcus [Smart]. You don’t know who it’s going to be because a lot of times, I don’t think they [Celtics] know who it will be. It’s why they’re so good, man.”
 
Here are five under-the-radar storylines heading into tonight’s game in Miami with the Celtics trying to push their winning streak to 17:

KYRIE FOR MVP
It’s one thing for the home crowd to get into the ‘M-V-P’ chants when you’re at the free-throw line. But it’s a completely different matter when those same cheers are being heard on the road. That’s where Irving was following the 110-102 overtime win at Dallas, a game in which Irving dropped 47 points, 10 in overtime. It’ll be interesting to see if another strong game by Irving will lead to another serenading of ‘M-V-P’ chants for the most dominant player on the team with the league’s best record.


 
TURNING DOWN THE HEAT
The streak is the talk of the NBA right now, but streaking was going to be part of the conversation leading up to tonight’s game regardless. The Celtics come into tonight’s game having won eight in a row over the Heat, their longest current winning streak over any team. Boston has dominated this matchup for years, posting a 70-44 record all-time against Miami in the regular season.
 

DUKE CONNECTION
College basketball just kicked off and Duke is once again among the game’s top teams, a school that consistently produces NBA talent at a relatively high level. That’ll be very apparent tonight when you consider this Boston-Miami matchup features three players (Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum for Boston, Justise Winslow for Miami) from Duke who will all be in the starting lineup and a fourth (Boston’s Semi Ojeleye) who attended Duke but later transferred to SMU.


 
JUSTISE WINSLOW
Every front-office executive has that one player they tried – and failed – to acquire that, in hindsight, not getting him was a really good thing. Winslow is that guy for the Celtics. While he hasn’t been necessarily a bust, his impact at this level hasn’t been enough to have warranted all the assets Boston was willing to part with on draft night in order to move up and select him. Still, he’s healthy now and starting to play better which is evident by his numbers in most offensive categories on the rise, while his defense has been relatively solid.
 

THREE-POINTERS
The Heat have made the 3-point shot a much bigger part of their offense this season, evident by Miami ranking seventh in the league in 3-point makes (11.2) this season. In Boston, one of the keys to their top-ranked defense has been their length, which has come in real handy defending the 3-pointer. In fact, Boston has limited opponents to just 32.1 percent shooting on 3’s this season, which ranks third in the league.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE