Veteran forward Gordon Hayward recently made the difficult decision to leave more than $30 million on the table with the Boston Celtics to pursue a fresh start with a new team in NBA free agency.
Ultimately, Hayward signed a contract worth more than $100 million with the Charlotte Hornets. The 30-year-old reflected on his short time in Boston and made it clear he has “no ill will” toward the franchise.
“There’s no ill will on my end from anybody within the Boston organization, the players,” Hayward said. “I had an unbelievable time in Boston and I think that it’s unfortunate what happened; I obviously had a freak injury right when I got there. And there’s a lot of things that were kind of out of my control of when I was in Boston. But I had a great time there and still have great relationships with the people there and some of the players there. And my teammates and coaches and my wife and I had built relationships with members of the community that we live in and to this day we talk to them … there’s no ill will on my end and I really loved my time in Boston.
“Certainly couldn’t be more excited about where I’m at now. And looking forward to this next chapter.”
Hayward will now start over on a team that is hoping to finally turn the corner with a veteran star and a promising young rookie in LaMelo Ball.
The Hornets have struggled year after year to draw free agents and make the right moves in the NBA draft.
This year they made significant moves in both areas and could make a run at the playoffs if Hayward and Ball prove to be a lethal combination in Charlotte.