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    Saturday, 15 July 2017

    Gordon Hayward had a "special feeling" about signing for the Boston Celtics

    The Boston Celtics were one of the biggest winners in free agency after they won the battle to secure one of the most coveted free agents on the market in Gordon Hayward.
    The All-Star decided to end his seven-year spell with the Utah Jazz to sign a four-year, $128 million contract with Boston.
    Hayward had also held meetings with the Miami Heat and Utah before ultimately deciding his future.
    After patiently waiting for the C's to create the necessary cap space to announce his signing, the 27-year-old was officially introduced as a Celtic yesterday and revealed his reasons for choosing Boston.
    "The last couple weeks have been pretty crazy for me," Hayward said. "There was just something different about Boston and different about being a Celtic. It was just a special feeling when talking about being a Boston Celtic. And that ultimately won me over."
    The move to Beantown reunites Hayward with his former college coach at Butler, Brad Stevens. In an article on The Players' Tribune, the small forward revealed that Stevens was a huge factor in his decision to leave Salt Lake City for Massachusetts.
    At Butler, the pair suffered a loss to Duke in the NCAA championship game in 2010 and Hayward has described his decision to team up with Stevens again as "unfinished business".
    Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz - Game Three
    He's eager to chase another championship with Stevens but this time with the green of the Celtics.
    Hayward will wear the number 20 jersey which was previously worn by Ray Allen and has been out of use since he left Boston to join the Miami Heat.
    It confirms that the Celtics will not retire the jersey of one of their best players who was part of the 2008 championship-winning team.
    The capture of Hayward, however, has come at something of a cost for the C's as they had to make the difficult decision of trading Avery Bradley, the last player remaining from the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce era.
    Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors - Game Two
    Along with Bradley, the team renounced the rights to the likes of Kelly Olynyk and Jonas Jerebko.
    After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last season, Boston's goal is to overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers next year and make the Finals and compete for a championship and Hayward is ready to get to work with that in mind.
    "That's our goal. That's something that I'm working right now so I can be a better player to help the Boston Celtics get that accomplished," Hayward said.
    "It's something that I for sure think is attainable for us. I think there's a lot of work for us to do, but it's what we're striving for and I couldn't be more excited about that."

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