If you have been following the Gordon Hayward rumors on your July 4th holiday, you know things are a bit complicated with Hayward’s free agent status. ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported Hayward plans to sign with the Boston Celtics.
Minutes later, refuting reports began to surface including new ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski. Yes, ESPN is refuting ESPN. Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein spoke with Wojnarowski refuting 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.
Even if 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.
Is Hayward headed to Boston? Usually where there is smoke, there is fire. However, Celtics fans might want to remember Jordan’s free agency before getting too excited.
To quote Dumb and Dumber, Heat and Jazz fans are uttering, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.” 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.