Gordon Hayward has finally announced he is heading to Boston. If you have been following the Gordon Hayward rumors on your July 4th holiday, you know things were a bit complicated with Hayward’s free agent status. ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported Hayward planned to sign with the Boston Celtics.
This was just when things got interesting.
Minutes later, refuting reports began to surface including new ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski. Yes, ESPN refuted ESPN. Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein spoke with Wojnarowski denying any deal is imminent. “Gordon hasn’t made a decision yet. We are still working through it,” Bartelstein told ESPN.
Yahoo’s Jordan Schultz also confirmed Hayward has not made a decision. While Hayward was expected to announce a decision on July 4, Schultz indicated the announcement could be pushed back.
There was this video posted by Isaiah Thomas’ wife where Thomas appears to be overly happy for July 4th. Did Thomas know something more, or is he reacting to the earlier ESPN report? The video has since been deleted.
Even though Hayward has verbally committed to the Celtics, nothing can become official until July 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern. This is the first day free agents can sign new contracts. While July 1 marks the official start of free agency, players and teams can only reach verbal agreements, which are non-binding.
We have seen examples in the past where players verbally committed to a team only to sign with another franchise. DeAndre Jordan is the most recent example. Jordan told the Dallas Mavericks he would sign with them, before eventually re-signing with the LA Clippers.
Clippers players and coaches locked themselves in a room with Jordan until he changed his mind.
Hayward also met with the Heat at the start of free agency. At one point, Miami was seen as the favorite to sign Hayward. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported Hayward was intrigued by the idea of being the focal point in Miami’s offense.
Hayward had long been linked to the Celtics. In addition to being one of the most talented teams to recruit Hayward, the Celtics have his old college coach, Brad Stevens.
Just remember, nothing is official until Hayward signs a contract on July 6 (at the earliest). Just ask all the Mavs fans who purchased Jordan’s jersey a couple days too soon.