The Boston Celtics apparently are not harboring any negative feelings toward Gordon Hayward following his departure from the team.
The C’s sent Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets in a sign-and-trade that left Boston with a conditional 2022 second-round draft pick and a record $28.5 million trade exception. Hayward had declined his player option a few days prior, indicating his desire to leave.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, however, doesn’t appear to be holding any grudges.
“He had a lot of tough luck when he was here,” Grousbeck told The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “When he was healthy, he was a really good player. Nobody worked harder than Gordon. That guy really did a good job for us, as best he could given the injuries. We wish him the best. He found a setting where they were willing to feature him at the very top of the team, with the finances that went along with that. We?re happy for him.”
Hayward didn’t always get a fair shake due to injuries, including the infamous season-ending ankle ailment he sustained in his very first game with the C’s in 2017. And in the end, he never truly found his groove while in Boston.
Grousbeck said the C’s did what they could to try and keep him around, but to no avail.
“He was playing hard when he got hurt. But we made him a truly massive offer and really stretched for Gordon and asked him to stay, and he ended up taking a truly massive offer and going somewhere else. But we have nothing but appreciation for his three years and I wish him the best.”
Now, Hayward joins the Hornets with a clean slate. What he’ll do with that opportunity, however, remains to be seen.