All-Star forward Gordon Hayward sits down with Adrian Wojnarowski for an exclusive and introspective study of the free agent process that led him to leave the Utah Jazz for the Boston Celtics.
Hayward goes into great detail about the meetings with Pat Riley and Miami, Brad Stevens and Boston and an emotional final visit with his Jazz teammates. Hayward discusses how he left the Miami visit thinking that he might sign with them, left Boston even more torn and spent the final 24 hours going back and forth between Utah and Boston. Hayward also opens up about how leaving the Western Conference for the East opens up possibilities to become a consistent All-Star.
2:52: Hayward’s expectations vs. the reality of free agency.
6:57: How Miami emerged as a possible landing spot.
8:33: Communicating with the Jazz before July 1, including the Ricky Rubio trade.
14:05: The timeline of his meeting with the Heat.
16:30: Hayward’s experience being recruited by Pat Riley.
18:25: Not having any prior relationships in the Heat organization.
22:02: Hayward’s thoughts after leaving Miami.
24:05: Brad Stevens picking up Hayward and his wife at the airport and their relationship.
28:27: The intensity and pressures facing athletes in Boston.
32:40: Hayward’s limited relationship with Isaiah Thomas before free agency began.
34:14: Al Horford’s role in his recruitment and Hayward’s thoughts after the entire visit.
36:14: The emotion of his meeting with the Jazz.
40:04: The Jazz’s final message in their pitch.
45:48: How the stacked Western Conference factored into his decision.
49:08: When Hayward began leaning towards the Celtics.
52:13: The call to inform Utah of his decision.
54:33: The Jazz not offering him a max deal in restricted free agency in 2014.
56:12: Why he ultimately chose Boston.