Former NBA All-Star Gordon Hayward was a key piece to the Boston Celtics during his time with the team, when healthy, from 2017-2020. That when healthy caveat is a key one, though, considering his entire 2017-18 debut season in Boston was cut short after a few minutes of floor-time.
He did end up playing two very solid seasons for the Celtics after that, though, and eventually, he would go on to sign a big contract to play for the Charlotte Hornets. Regarding his time in Boston, Hayward was mournful of how things unfolded.
“I think it’s unfortunate what happened,” Hayward said (h/t USA Today). “Obviously, I had a freak injury right when I got there (season-ending fracture tibia and dislocated ankle in the 2017-18 season-opener). There’s a lot of things that were out of my control when I was in Boston. But like I said, I had a great time there. Still have great relationships with the people there and teammates and coaches, and my wife and I built relationships with members of the community and to this day, we still talk to them.”
Do the Boston Celtics regret losing Gordon Hayward?
With the Boston Celtics sending off the preseason in the Queen City against Hayward’s Hornets, the question one’s mind naturally wanders to is whether or not the Cs miss the oft-injured but enduring Butler product.
While Hayward would be a great fit on a surface level if he’d accept a bench role, but based on the postseason results since his departure in 2020, outside of the Jaylen Brown-less 2021 playoffs, the Celtics likely do not regret losing Hayward for what it cost to corral him.
In his prime? He’s worth that money no question. Not anymore, though.
The Boston Celtics decided not to bring him back because they needed to focus on the growth and development of Brown and Jayson Tatum. Those two guys are now the faces of the franchise — and granting them the spotlight has made Boston championship contenders every year. More importantly, it also gave them flexibility to pay these players and keep them under control as the Celtics continued to build.
While Hayward’s place in the league will forever be remembered for his versatility and athleticism in his heyday, there are simply no regrets the Cs could have after both parties got what they wanted from the goodbye.