In maybe the biggest surprise early in free agency, Gordon Hayward is signing with the Charlotte Hornets on a four-year, $120 million deal, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Whether the team he's signing with or the large contract he'll be signing is the biggest surprise depends on who you ask, but the Hornets being willing to pay an average of $30 million over four years is likely why Hayward chose Charlotte.
In the days after he declined his $34 million option to return to the Boston Celtics, the Indiana Pacers were reportedly his preferred destination, though it was reported the New York Knicks were willing to pay more than Indiana. So was Charlotte, apparently.
Hayward, 30, was named an all-star his final year with the Utah Jazz in 2017, but injuries prevented him from finding that form in the last three seasons with the Boston Celtics.
After a gruesome ankle injury in his Celtics debut in 2017-18, he returned to play in 70 games the following season in a bench role. Hayward returned to Boston's starting lineup last season, playing in 52 of a possible 72 games. He averaged 17.5 points, on 50% shooting and 38% on 3-pointers, his best season since leaving Utah.