NBA News: Gordon Hayward Reunites with Coach Brad Stevens, Decided to Join Boston Celtics

By Jeff Harris, Posted: 07/05/17 04:57AM EDT

The reunion with his former college coach Brad Stevens may have been the better of all reasons why Gordon Hayward decided to join the Boston Celtics. But will his decision to become part of the Celtics culture bring him his utmost dream: an NBA championship?

"I Have Decided to Join the Boston Celtics"

For two years in a row now, the Independence Day was marked with yet another NBA superstar's decision leaving his former team in his quest of an NBA championship. After his meeting with the managements of Utah Jazz, the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, moments earlier, Hayward, 27, decided he's going to join Boston.

In an open letter he posted on The Player's Tribune, the 6'8" small forward out of Butler thanked all the Utah Jazz fans, the Jazz organization, even those unknown heroes behind the walls of their locker room. Simply put - Gordon Hayward is saddened by his decision to leave the franchise that gave him his first taste of the professional league. Alas, he decided he'll be better off in Boston and reunite with his former college coach, Brad Stevens

"It was such a tough decision. But there was one person who I knew I could talk to about it from every angle, who I knew would give me the smartest and most honest perspective available: Coach Stevens," Hayward wrote.

Clearing Payroll to Sign Gordon Hayward

Did Gordon Hayward made the right decision? Only time can answer that question. However, there's but one important question that needs immediate solutions. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, signing Hayward would bring a lot of payroll cuts. As per HoopsHype, the current Boston Celtics payroll stands at $71.23 million. This would mean parting ways with still unsigned free agents like Jonas Jerebko, James Young, and Gerald Green, or waive the contracts of Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson (or trade).

This creates $27.6M in room; however, the max offer for Gordon Hayward stands to get is $29.7 million! By the way, Kelly Olynyk is just on a qualifying offer, thus, so he's also not included on the payroll. Another thing, Isaiah Thomas becomes a free agent next year, so where will the Celtics. Think about it!

Why Boston Celtics?

Gordon Hayward's decision to join the Boston Celtics is pre-meditated. He wants an NBA championship ring, and the best team to offer that chance would be Boston, how?

Like in the past, the Western Conference teams are too strong to determine which team will qualify for the playoffs. But just recently, more and more teams are making their own super teams, no thanks to the Golden State Warriors.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference teams are having issues rebuilding their rosters. Even the reigning conference champion, the Cleveland Cavaliers, is trying to build a team capable of beating the Warriors (rumor has it that Kevin Love is on his way to West, which makes it even harder to compete).

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics core remained intact - Thomas, Horford, and Jae Crowder, possibly even Olynyk. With the addition of Gordon Hayward, the Boston Celtics remains one of the top contenders in the East, giving them a better chance to get into the Eastern Conference Finals, possibly, the NBA Finals.

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