After losing many of its best players this offseason, the Eastern Conference has gained another star as Gordon Hayward will join the Boston Celtics in free agency. Chris Haynes of ESPN.com first reported the news and it was confirmed by an announcement from Hayward. He will make $128 million over four years.
Hayward leaves the Utah Jazz where he spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career. In Boston he reunites with his college coach, Brad Stevens, who helped turn him into a lottery pick at Butler University.
Hayward joins a Boston team that was the top seed in the Eastern Conference last season with 53 wins. He was an All-Star in 2017, averaging 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Jazz.
The Celtics already added small forward Jayson Tatum from Duke with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft. They now have a surplus at the small forward position between Hayward, Tatum, Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown, the third overall pick in 2016.
The Celtics were the team that knocked the Wizards out of the playoffs in the second round this spring. They lost the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. But now they are taking major steps forward in hopes of getting to the next level.