The Charlotte Hornets have wanted Gordon Hayward for years. On Saturday, they finally landed him, according to Priority Sports, the agency that represents the veteran forward. A person with knowledge of the terms, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been signed, told the AP that Hayward will sign a four-year contract worth $120 million. ESPN first reported the agreement between Hayward and the Hornets.
Hayward’s future was another of the top questions remaining in the league as Day 2 of free agency began Saturday.
It was not a question for long.
Hayward turned down a $34 million option for this season with Boston, and the Celtics were in talks with other teams — including Indiana, which was believed to be a preference of Hayward’s — on potential sign-and-trade deals.
Instead, it appears the Celtics are seeing Hayward walk away as a free agent.
Hayward agreed to a four-year offer sheet worth about $63 million with the Hornets in 2014, a deal that was matched by the Utah Jazz — Hayward’s original team. Hayward left the Jazz for Boston in 2017, saw his first season with the Celtics end on opening night of the 2017-18 season when he suffered a horrible lower leg injury, then averaged 14.0 points per game over the following two seasons.