Gordon Hayward details leaving Celtics, joining Hornets


Gordon Hayward officially is a member of the Hornets as he was formally introduced in a video press conference Tuesday.

Hayward declined his $34.2 million player option with the Celtics earlier this month and then agreed to a four-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets where the two teams completed a sign-and-trade.

The forward explained his decision to join the Hornets, which included speaking with Michael Jordan both now and back in 2014 when he was a restricted free agent.

“The more and more conversations that we had, that I had with the coaching staff, with some of the front office guys of just the vision that they had, the impact that they believe I can have of helping us get to that next level, like I said, it’s very powerful,” he said. “Although there were conversations with lots of teams for a sign-and-trade opportunity, it was one of those things where my agent was working on those and I kind of just told him let’s do this thing in Charlotte, let’s just get this done.”

Hayward also discussed leaving Boston and that decision.

"It was a tough decision to leave Boston,” he said. “But it was something here (in Charlotte) where I wanted to maximize my potential and help the team win."

Hayward added: "I was in a different role after the injury and I tried to make the best of it. I firmly believe that I'm in the prime of my career."

The 30-year-old averaged 17.5 points last year.