Gordon Hayward is headed to Boston.
After a day of chaos and confusion, Hayward announced in an article for The Players’ Tribune that the former Utah Jazz All-Star will head to Boston.
In a post called “Thank You, Utah,” Hayward expressed his love for Salt Lake City and its fans, saying Utah is full of great and passionate people.
He also said he plans to head to Boston to finish the job he and Celtics coach Brad Stevens started years ago at Butler.
“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,” he wrote.
Hayward’s departure comes at a time when the Jazz have built around him, according to the Deseret News.
Hayward’s decision arrived hours after some nationwide confusion. Sources said Hayward signed to the Celtics earlier in the day. But Hayward’s agent said this wasn’t the case. All of the commotion created a chaotic storm on Twitter.
National media reacted with surprise to the announcement when it finally came. Here’s a look at the reactions.
Reporters had their quick takes.
Been covering #NBA a long time and have never cared where players play. But it's always pained me to see entire fan bases left in the dust.— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) July 5, 2017
Find someone who will look at you like Brad Stevens looks at Gordon Hayward. pic.twitter.com/sNnSmQHuqv— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 5, 2017
Gordon Hayward to Boston. Celtics now have a 1-2 punch with Isaiah and Hayward. Still have 2 potential top 5 picks next year.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) July 5, 2017
Some said now the Celtics have to make some moves with their current roster.
Indiana and Atlanta on the short list of interested teams, I'm told https://t.co/zSw2oXp5QE— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 5, 2017
Players also commented on the move.
https://twitter.com/Isaiah_Thomas/status/882388352439398403Chris Haynes, who broke the news earlier that Hayward signed with the Celtics, also shared one hilarious tweet to the haters.
https://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/882386532333760512Jokes were tossed out.
I wonder who Gordon Hayward has winning next year's title, Golden State or Cleveland?— Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola) July 5, 2017
Gordon Hayward announces on Players Tribune he is signing with the Celtics. Resume your barbecues.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 4, 2017
OFFICIAL: Gordon Hayward signs 4 year, 0 rings deal with the Celtics worth approximately 4 second round playoff exits at the hands of LeBron— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) July 4, 2017
Other national media organizations expanded on their thoughts on the Hayward move.
- Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer broke down what this move means for the Jazz, Heat and Celtics, who were all involved in discussions with Hayward. While the Celtics got their man in Hayward, the Jazz's rebuild process slowed and the Heat are still search for answers, he wrote.
- Tim MacMahon, an ESPN staff writer, explained how the Jazz believed their pitch to Hayward was just as good as any other teams’. The team won’t see its rebuild process come to full fruition, but the move doesn’t leave the Jazz totally empty. All-NBA center Rudy Gobert will return, paving a smooth road for the future, McMahon wrote.
- For example, Greg Corte of The Miami Herald wrote that Haywards’ decision was a blow to the Miami Heat organization, as the move capped off a “disappointing summer of free agency.”
- Yahoo Sports writer Chris Mannix said the move was proof Indiana should have waited to trade Paul George, knowing they could have obtained multiple assets from the Celtics.
- Meanwhile, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN NE wrote that the Celtics finally got their man with Hayward. The move gives the Celtics an added All-Star without giving any players away, putting them in prime position to face off against the Eastern Conference’s best teams.
- Kurt Helin of NBC Sports wrote that Hayward’s move is an attempt to “dethrone LeBron.” Hayward’s move comes at a time when multiple All-Stars, like Paul George and Jimmy Butler, have moved out to the Western Conference. Helin called the move a “bold, smart, long-term basketball” decision.
- CBS reporter Sopan Deb praised the Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge for adding Hayward, while still keeping his draft picks.
- Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider (membership required) questioned whether or not Hayward and the Celtics could surpass the Cleveland Cavaliers.