Gordon Hayward’s Time in Boston did not go as envisioned when the 26-year-old forward signed a four year $128 million dollar deal in 2017. At the time Hayward was coming off his first All-Star appearance and joined a Celtics team with the newly acquired guard, Kyrie Irving, rookie Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford the Celtics looked to be true contenders.

Sadly in his first game with the Celtics, he Broke his ankle leaving him out for the entirety of his first season with the Boston Celtics. The following year spent rehabbing hoping to regain his form and status as the player he was in Utah starting only 18 games and averaging 11.5 points for a Celtics team that went to the conference finals.

At age 28, two years removed from the horrific incident, Hayward found himself often at times underutilized and miscast in a rotation of forwards due to the emergence of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and newly acquired guard Kemba Walker.

Hayward returns to form

Gordon Hayward looked to be back and a great contributor for a Celtics team that had high hopes. And with the break due to covid-19, he entered the bubble looking to prove to the rest of the league that he had returned. As Trey Daubert wrote, “The former Butler star is shooting a career-high 50.1 percent while also posting 38 percent clip from deep. He’s also averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. Keep in mind also on a team that also has 3 other stars.”

But on a team that had three other stars averaging over 20ppg (Tatum 22.4, Walker 21.8, Brown 20.2) a feat that had only happened nine other times in NBA history. It was unlikely Hayward would ever get the usage and recognition to achieve his second All-Star Nod.

After the conclusion of the 2019-2020 NBA season Hayward had a choice to make he was in the final year of his contract with the Boston Celtics and had a player option. The team had battled hard through the playoffs beating a resilient Toronto team in 7 games in the eastern conference semi-finals & taking the Miami Heat to 6 games in the conference finals.

Gordon Hayward signs with Charlotte

Hayward now 30 years old chose to leave the Celtics which was arguably the better team if he was looking for post-season success and to sign a four-year, $120 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets.

The one thing the Hornets had that the Celtics couldn’t offer was usage Hayward in his time with the Celtics averaged a 20% usage rate. Hayward’s usage rate in his one All-Star appearance with the Utah Jazz was 27.6%. So far in his lone season with the Hornets Hayward has raised his usage rate to 24.9% and made the most out of it averaging a career-high 23 points per game, 3.6 assists per game, and 5.3 rebounds per game along with shooting 43% from three on 5.4 attempts per game with 2.3 makes also scoring a career-high 44 points in a win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Hornets are currently 7th in the Eastern Conference Standings with a 10-11 record and Hayward has lead the team in scoring 10 out of the 20 games he has played this season. If the hornets continue to string together wins with Gordon as the main contributor on the roster it appears he is in line for his first All-Star selection since he was 26 years old on the Utah Jazz. It would be a well-deserved honor for a player that has worked as hard as possible to be in the position he currently is in.