Following three seasons with the Celtics, Gordon Hayward signed a four-year, $128 million deal with the Hornets this offseason.
Obviously, Hayward's time in Boston was centered around injuries, which started when he dislocated his left ankle and fractured his left tibia in his first game and then had other ailments come up along the way.
Hayward also injured his ankle last summer in the NBA bubble.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic, Hayward opened up on his three seasons with the Celtics and more.
"Obviously it was disappointing with how everything played out there," he said. "A lot of it is just not under my control. I would have never imagined myself getting injured my very first year there and missing the whole year, having a serious injury. That’s obviously very disappointing. Last year, I feel like I played really well, and I feel like our team was in a really good position and I get injured again — like, a fluke injury — the first game of the playoffs."
The forward returned to the NBA bubble a few weeks after suffering the injury, but he admitted he probably shouldn't have.
"I honestly shouldn’t have come back and played, but tried to play through it and wasn’t able to be myself, so I don’t think we had our full team there at the end," he said. "So it was disappointing, but not necessarily stuff that you can control. Injuries happen. Those types of things happen. But I had great experiences besides those things in Boston, built great relationships, still have good relationships with the coaches and some of the players there. I have no regrets about anything that happened in Boston, and I really appreciate all the fan support — for supporting me through a wild ride of ups and downs."
As for the offseason, he said the Celtics were in the mix, as well as some other teams before he made the decision to sign with the Hornets.
"New York was in the mix — the Knicks. Indiana was another team that was really interested, and we had mutual interest for a while," Hayward said. "Boston was — like, let’s not forget about Boston. I really wanted to go back to Boston too. There were just a lot of options, and a lot of potential teams that I could go to, but I’d say those were the main ones. Atlanta, New York, Boston, Indiana, and then Charlotte obviously."
In 13 games this year, Hayward is averaging 22.2 points per game.