Hay­ward chooses to join Celtics

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By The As­so­ci­ated Press

Gor­don Hay­ward chose to sign with the Bos­ton Celtics and re­unite with coach Brad Stevens.

Hay­ward told Utah of­fi­cials he is mov­ing on af­ter seven sea­sons with the Jazz and that he picked Bos­ton, mak­ing the an­nounce­ment Tues­day evening on The Play­ers’ Tribune site.

Hay­ward played col­lege ball un­der Stevens at But­ler. He leaves a loaded West­ern Con­fer­ence to join a Bos­ton team that was the No. 1 seed in last sea­son’s East­ern Con­fer­ence play­offs. The Mi­ami Heat also were in the chase to land Hay­ward.

He was an all-star for the first time last sea­son, av­er­ag­ing ca­reer bests of 21.9 points and 5.4 re­bounds. Hay­ward also shot 47 per­cent, a sig­nif­i­cant jump over what he man­aged in the pre­vi­ous four sea­sons.

“This was a life-chang­ing de­ci­sion for me and my fam­ily, and some­thing we took re­ally se­ri­ously,” Hay­ward wrote. “And from the start of this process, one thing stood out as im­por­tant: I knew I wanted the fans and the or­ga­ni­za­tions to hear my de­ci­sion di­rectly from me.

“Af­ter seven years in Utah, I have de­cided to join the Bos­ton Celtics.”

His post capped a strange day, af­ter it was widely re­ported in the early af­ter­noon that Hay­ward picked the Celtics — a de­ci­sion im­me­di­ately shot down by his agent Mark Bar­tel­stein, who said Hay­ward was still go­ing over his op­tions.

Sev­eral hours later, it was done, and it was Bos­ton.

Heat, Bosh part ways.

Chris Bosh’s time with the Heat is of­fi­cially over.

Weeks af­ter the sides came to a fi­nal agree­ment on how to part ways and more than a year since his last NBA ap­pear­ance be­cause of blood-clot is­sues, Bosh was waived by the Heat on Tues­day. The move was a for­mal­ity.

It gives Mi­ami ac­cess to $25.3 mil­lion in salary-cap space for this com­ing sea­son, which the Heat will use to sign free agents start­ing Thurs­day. Bosh still gets that salary, plus $26.8 mil­lion for next sea­son, and in the­ory could con­tinue his ca­reer — if an­other team de­clares him fit to play.

It’s un­known if that will hap­pen.

Heat pres­i­dent Pat Ri­ley said the or­ga­ni­za­tion will re­tire Bosh’s No. 1 jersey.

Kings get vet free agents.

The Kings added vet­eran help with Zach Ran­dolph and Ge­orge Hill.

Ran­dolph left Mem­phis for a $24 mil­lion, two-year deal to re­unite with for­mer Griz­zlies coach Dave Jo­erger in Sacra­mento.

Hill an­nounced on Twit­ter he was join­ing the Kings. Ya­hoo Sports first re­ported the deal, say­ing Hill would get $57 mil­lion over three years.

Foot­notes.

Free-agent for­ward Mike Scott agreed to a $1.7 mil­lion, one-year con­tract with the Wizards. … The Nets and re­stricted free agent Otto Porter Jr. reached an agree­ment on an of­fer sheet that will pay the Wizards for­ward the max­i­mum of $106 mil­lion over four years. The Wizards in­tend to ex­er­cise their right to match the of­fer. … Free-agent for­ward Pa­trick Pat­ter­son reached a three­year, $16.4 mil­lion con­tract with the Thun­der.

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