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Gordon Hayward reportedly agrees to sign with Boston Celtics after wild day

Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge got their guy, as free agent star Gordon Hayward agreed to sign a four-year max deal with the Boston Celtics, leaving the Utah Jazz. After the story was initially broken by ESPN’s Chris Haynes and then disputed by agent Mark Bartelstein, the deal was finally confirmed Tuesday evening.

Taco Bell Skills Challenge 2017 Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Update 8:30 PM: Gordon Hayward has officially agreed to sign a four-year deal for $128 million with a player option in the final year, as reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical. The deal being finalized was confirmed by Hayward in the anticipated Players Tribune 2,100-word column saying thank you to Utah.

“After seven years in Utah, I’ve decided to join the Boston Celtics,” Hayward said.

“There were so many great things pulling me in that direction," he wrote. "There was the winning culture of Boston, as a city -- from the Sox, to the Pats, to the Bruins. There was the special history of the Celtics, as a franchise -- from Russell, to Bird, to Pierce, and it goes on. There was the amazing potential of this current Celtics roster, as a team -- from ownership, to the front office, to a talented roster with Isaiah, and Al, and everyone else. And of course, there was Coach Stevens: Not just for the relationship that we've built off the court -- but also for the one that we started building on the court, all of those years ago, in Indiana.

"And that unfinished business we had together, back in 2010, when I left Butler for the NBA ... as far as I'm concerned, all of these years later, we still have it:

“And that's to win a championship."

Update 2:35 PM: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and David Aldridge of both report that Hayward has not made a decision yet. Although multiple league sources told CelticsBlog that Hayward had chosen the Celtics, agent Mark Bartelstein has told Woj that the decision has not been finalized. It is possible this is because Hayward is expected to announce the decision on the Players Tribune and his agent does not want to spoil the anticipation there. But league sources have maintained that while the teams have not been notified of the decision officially, the Haynes report is correct.

Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported that Hayward’s agent said the releasing Hayward’s decision was meant to be today. “That was the goal, but now we’ve got to kind of regroup here a bit.”

Then the President of the Utah Jazz Steve Starks tweeted that the Jazz trust Hayward has not made a decision yet.

Original Story:

Gordon Hayward has agreed to sign with the Boston Celtics on a four-year contract near the max, as first reported by Chris Haynes of ESPN. Multiple league sources confirmed to CelticsBlog that Hayward has agreed to sign with the Celtics.

Hayward becomes the second all-star free agent to join the current Celtics squad, after Al Horford signed a four-year max contract last offseason.

The news, first reported by Haynes, got out before Hayward informed the Utah Jazz he was leaving, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Hayward gives the Celtics a crucial second go-to scorer to put next to Isaiah Thomas, taking the burden off of Thomas in the short-term as he recovers from a hip tear while giving the Celtics the ideal complimentary scorer for the long-term. Hayward joins his former coach at Butler University in Brad Stevens, who has long wanted to team up with his Butler star who nearly won him a national championship.

His new Celtics teammates are already celebrating.

Hayward is a multi-dimensional player that thrives as much on the ball as off of it. He is a shifty ball handler who can play a crafty ground game, or explode tot he rim to finish over bigs. He can pull up from just about anywhere on the court and function as a playmaker in the pick-and-roll.

He showed significant improvement as a defender last season, tracking guards through traffic while being attentive and aggressive as a help defender. In the Celtics’ switch-heavy defense, he will be able to handle most switching scenarios.

Gordon is also capable of playing multiple positions on both ends while pushing the tempo, being a perfect fit for the Brad Stevens system. He was their top free agency target and they got him as they slowly build up a contender with a ton of youth behind them.

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