Tuesday was not pretty when it came to NBA free agency.
News leaked early in the morning about Gordon Hayward apparently choosing to sign with the Boston Celtics over the Utah Jazz or Miami Heat. Hayward’s agent then denied that he had made a decision, and we all waited on pins and needles to see what the real decision would be.
Of course, it seemed certain that Hayward would join the Celtics, it was just a matter of what kind of procedural items that Hayward needed to get done first.
What Hayward was waiting on we really don’t know. He acknowledged the challenges of the day in his goodbye article, but we still aren’t certain. Was he trying to figure out who leaked it to the press? Did he have a deal in place with The Players’ Tribune to announce his signing and it wasn’t done yet? There are rumors and postulations abound on social media.
Also heavy on social media was the reaction to Hayward’s signing, both from NBA players and fans around the league.
Utah now will reportedly try to make a play for Washington Wizards restricted free agent Otto Porter Jr. with Hayward out of the mix. The wizards have apparently said they will match any offer for Porter.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have a series of actions that need to take place in order to clear the requisite cap pace for Hayward, including getting rid of Kelly Olynyk and one or more of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Marcus Smart.
This one is a bummer for Jazz fans just as that team was getting really good. Boston was always going to be a real challenger for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season in the Eastern Conference, but with Hayward on the team it is more likley that they could grab an undisputed spot at the top rather than having to rely on Cleveland faltering down the stretch as they did in 2016-17.