Hayward swaps Jazz for Celtics after seven years in Utah

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Gordon Hayward's future is sorted after the NBA All-Star opted to join the Boston Celtics as a free agent, ending his association with the Utah Jazz.

Hayward made the announcement on Tuesday, having tabled offers from the Jazz, the Celtics and the Miami Heat.

The 27-year-old, who was named as an All-Star in 2017, leaves Utah after seven years to take up a deal in Boston reportedly worth $128million over four years.

"This was a life-changing decision for me and my family, and something we took really seriously," Hayward wrote via The Players' Tribune.

"And from the very start of this process, one thing stood out as important: I knew that I wanted the fans and the organisations to hear my decision directly from me."

In Boston, Hayward will be reunited with Brad Stevens, who was his coach at Butler.

Hayward, who was an All-Star for the first time last season, has an ability to stretch the floor, which could help the Celtics open things up for point guard Isaiah Thomas.

Hayward and Stevens have already proven they can lead a team deep into the postseason with a run to the NCAA championship game in 2010.

Now the Celtics hope Hayward, who has averaged just under 16 points for his career but was near 22 points per game last season, can help the Celtics overtake the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.

In Hayward's lengthy post, he cited Stevens as the main reason for leaving the Jazz.

"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. 

"Coach Stevens was so great about it, all of it. He helped me lay out my options, and talked it through from both sides... but in the end, when I needed it, he also gave me my space. And he also let me know that it was my choice to make -- and that he would be there for me, on the other side of it, either way. And of course I ended up deciding to leave: I declared for the draft, and got drafted, and started my new NBA life in Utah. But it always meant a lot to me, to know how, in that moment, even with our lives at this strange crossroads together, coach Stevens was someone I could count on."