GORDON Hayward has chosen the Boston Celtics over the Miami Heat and the Utah Jazz.
Earlier reports about the move were disputed by Hayward’s agent but Hayward himself made the announcement on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) through The Players Tribune.
Hayward reportedly will ink a $128 million four-year deal with the Celtics after spending the first seven years of his NBA career with the Jazz.
“This has been the toughest decision that I’ve ever had to make in my life. This weekend has probably been the longest weekend of my life. And today … well, today has definitely been one of the craziest days of my life. But I wanted to make sure that I got this right,” Hayward said.
Picked ninth overall by the Jazz in the 2010 Draft, Hayward quickly became the star of the squad.
Hayward met with the three teams the past week and said the winning culture in Boston, not only in basketball, was a major factor in his decision.
The move also reunites him with Brad Stevens, his coach in college when Butler made it to the NCAA championship game in 2010.
“This was a life-changing decision for me and my family, and something we took really seriously,” said Hayward.
“There were so many great things pulling me in that direction. There was the winning culture of Boston, as a city — from the (Red) Sox, to the (New England) 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.”