Free agent Hayward heads to Hornets in $120-M deal

Coveted NBA free agent Gordon Hayward is headed to the Charlotte Hornets on a deal reported by ESPN to be worth $120 million over 4 years.

Hayward's agents Priority Sports added confirmation of the move on their Twitter feed with a post saying "Congrats to @gordonhayward on agreeing to terms with @hornets!"

Hayward became a free agent Thursday, November 19, when he declined a $34.2 million player option with the Boston Celtics for the upcoming season.

He had inked a four-year, $127.8 million contract with the Celtics in 2017, but his tenure in Boston was shadowed by injury, starting with a grisly foot and ankle injury suffered minutes into his regular-season debut with the club.

He missed the rest of that season, and after a spotty 2018-2019 campaign where he averaged 17.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 52 games of the pandemic-disrupted 2019-2020 campaign.

Hayward was sidelined again in the playoffs in the NBA's quarantine bubble in Orlando, spraining his right ankle in the opening game of Boston's first-round series against Philadelphia.

He returned during the Eastern Conference finals, in which the Celtics fell in 6 games to the Miami Heat.

The NBA's free agency negotiating period began on Friday, but deals can't be finalized until the signing period starts on Sunday. (READ: Howard leaves, Clarkson stays in frantic NBA free agency start)

Both the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers had been reported to be in the running to land Hayward, with the 30-year-old forward reported by some to favor a return to his native Indiana before the Hornets apparently swooped in.

ā€“ Rappler.com