Celtics owner Wyc Grousebeck speaks out on Gordon Hayward bolting for Hornets
Boston Celtics fans had mixed reactions when Gordon Hayward bolted to chase a bigger payday with the Charlotte Hornets in free agency. As far as Boston owner Wyc Grousebeck is concerned, the 30-year-old swingman simply did what was best for him and his family.
On Thursday, Grousebeck said he holds nothing against Hayward and has no ill feelings about his decision to leave the Celtics. Per Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe:
“He had a lot of tough luck when he was here (with the Celtics). When he was healthy, he was a really good player. Nobody worked harder than Gordon. That guy really did a good job for us, as best he could given the injuries. We wish him the best. He found a setting where they were willing to feature him at the very top of the team, with the finances that went along with that. We’re happy for him.”
Gordon Hayward left a lot of money on the table when he left a $34.1 million player option for the 2020-21 season. Given his history of injuries over the last few seasons with the Celtics, the 6-foot-7 winger likely wanted more financial stability elsewhere. Sure enough, the Michael Jordan-owned franchise spent major dough to bring him to Buzz City with a massive 4-year, $120 million deal.
Hayward initially joined the Celtics back in 2017 after a stellar seven-year season with the Utah Jazz. He made one All-Star team back in 2017 and was one of the league’s most promising two-way players at the time. However, he infamously injured himself badly in his first game in Beantown and missed the rest of the 2017-18 campaign.
He played 72 games the following season but was limited to just 52 appearances in his 2019-20, which turned out to be his final year in Boston. Hayward tallied 13.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in three seasons with the Celtics.