Gordon Hayward will be staying with the Celtics.
Boston “quickly” shut down an inquiry this summer from an opposing team about potentially dealing for the 29-year-old forward, a rival executive recently told NBA insider Keith Smith at Summer League.
Spend a week in Las Vegas and you can talk to a LOT of people. Not surprisingly, everyone had something to say about the Boston Celtics and what they did this summer. I dumped all the good stuff in this post for @celticsblog! https://t.co/hqp4PNUZab
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 23, 2019
Hayward was inconsistent last season after he missed almost all of 2017-18 with a devastating leg injury. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game while shooting 33.3% from 3-point range.
“I never felt like guys were frustrated with me,” Hayward told ESPN in March about his struggles. “But you could feel that guys were frustrated with their situation. Everyone in the NBA wants a bigger role. It was tough on everybody. We were trying to win basketball games, but at the same time, I was trying to get back to being the player I was, and some of that involved getting reps.”
Hayward spent the first seven years of his career with the Jazz before signing a four-year, $128 million deal with Boston in July 2017.
“One of the hardest things about last year was going through the whole injury kind of alone,” Hayward said. “It wasn’t necessarily anyone’s fault. I had just moved to a new team and was just starting to try and develop relationships with these guys. Then I got hurt, and I was away from the team, and you don’t have a chance to put a foundation down.”
The Celtics’ roster underwent a major overhaul this offseason. They lost Kyrie Irving (Nets), Al Horford (76ers) and Marcus Morris (Knicks) in free agency but signed star Kemba Walker away from the Hornets.
“After it was clear Kyrie (Irving) was leaving, I told our owner that we could maybe grab Hayward for nothing if Boston tore it down. He’s owed a lot of money, but only a couple of years left. We made a call, but it got shut down quickly. I think (general manager) Danny (Ainge) and (coach) Brad (Stevens) know what they have in Hayward for this year and going forward. He’s going to be really good again.”
The Celtics entered last season as the favorites to win the East but finished with a 49-33 record and were eliminated by the Bucks in five games in the conference semifinals.