Free agent Gordon Hayward is signing a four-year, $ 120 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets, Priority Sports agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.
Hayward became a free agent Thursday after turning down his $ 34.2 million player option with the Boston Celtics for next season.
Hayward had a tumultuous three years in Boston after signing a four-year, $ 127.8 million deal in 2017.
He suffered a horrific foot and ankle injury within six minutes of his regular-season debut with the Celtics, causing him to miss the rest of the season. He struggled at times in 2018-19, his first full season back, before taking a significant step forward last season, when he averaged 17.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 52 games.
Hayward was plagued with other assorted injuries with the Celtics, too – breaking a bone in his hand in November and dealing with nerve pain in his foot in December before suffering a Grade 3 sprain to his right ankle in Game 1 of the season. Boston’s first-round playoff series. against the Philadelphia 76ers inside the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort.
He came back in the middle of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, but struggled when Boston finally lost in six games on its third trip to the conference finals in the past four seasons.
In all, he missed 142 games (playoffs included) after missing just 42 in his first seven seasons with the Jazz.
When Hayward, 30, has played, he has produced, averaging 13.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the Celtics. Last season, he became the first Celtics player to average at least 15 points on 50% shooting since Kevin Garnett in 2011-12.
Hayward signed an offer sheet with Charlotte in 2014 as a restricted free agent, but the Utah Jazz matched the offer and kept it.
The Celtics have lost two maximum contract players in free agency in the past two years: Kyrie Irving and Hayward.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.