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    Sunday, 30 July 2017

    Gordon Hayward explains a big factor that led to his departure from Utah

    Gordon Hayward.
    Gordon Hayward was the most coveted free agent on the market this summer and after seven years with the Utah Jazz, he decided to sign with the Boston Celtics. 
    Reuniting with Brad Stevens - his former college coach at Butler - was a huge reason for Hayward deciding to take his talents to Boston. 
    It was also a smart decision for the 27-year-old to head for the Eastern Conference with so many of the league's star players now residing in the west. 
    Joining a team who made the conference finals last year will give the small forward a great chance to compete for a championship as his contribution could be decisive. 
    But Hayward has also revealed another big factor behind his decision to leave Utah. When the All-Star became a restricted free agent in 2014, the Jazz didn't offer him a contract extension. 
    Instead, they told him to get an offer sheet and after he duly got a four-year max deal from the Hornets, Utah matched it. 
    The way in which the franchise dealt with the situation, however, stuck with Hayward and after he blossomed into a star in the following three years, he exercised his player option this summer and chose to leave Salt Lake City. 
    In an interview with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Hayward explained how he felt about the team's handling of his contract negotiations. 
    "It lingered for maybe a little bit of time at the beginning of when I signed it," he said. "There was none of those feelings were there this time around.
    "Restricted free agency, it’s a little weird. As a player, you’re sitting there thinking like, “What the hell?” You look at all these other players where teams are like, “He’s our guy.” Like, “We’re going to give him the max.” Blah, blah, blah. And I’ve got to go out and get one? Like, “Do you not believe in me?” Like, “Do you not feel like I’m the guy for you?”
    Utah's loss is most definitely Boston's gain and they showed how much they believe in him by signing him to a four-year $128 million deal. 
    If Kyrie Irving gets his wish and is traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers, it will present the Celtics with a huge window of opportunity to capitalise in the east. 
    Of course, beating LeBron James, with or without Kyrie, is no easy task but by adding Hayward they will give themselves a great chance of dethroning the King. 

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