Hayward shares excitement for first game with Hornets

/ by Justin Leger
Presented By TD Bank

Gordon Hayward is ready for the first game of his post-Boston Celtics career.

The ex-C's forward, who signed a four-year, $120 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets last month, will take the court for his new team on Saturday night. Hayward shared his excitement for his Hornets debut on Twitter prior to the preseason matchup:

"I was in a different role after the injury and I tried to make the best of it," Hayward said earlier this month. "I firmly believe that I'm in the prime of my career.

" ... It was a tough decision to leave Boston. But it was something here where I wanted to maximize my potential and help the team win."

Hayward averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists through 52 games last season. The 30-year-old is joined by fellow former Celtic Terry Rozier, Devonte' Graham, PJ Washington and Cody Zeller in Charlotte's projected starting lineup. LaMelo Ball, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, will be worth keeping an eye on Saturday night as well.

Hayward and the Hornets will host the Toronto Raptors at 7 p.m. ET.