Gordon Hayward and Brad Stevens are reunited for the first time since the 2010 NCAA National Championship when the Butler Bulldogs fell to the Duke Blue Devils 61-59.
The Bulldogs were this close to winning the tournament and completing the underdog story.
Gordon Hayward decided to go to the NBA Draft and was selected at 9th overall by the Utah Jazz – just one pick before the Indiana Pacers who selected Paul George.
The last time Paul George wasn’t a Pacer (2010), Brad Stevens was Gordon Hayward’s coach.. Coincidence?
— Owen Smith (@OwenSmith247) July 1, 2017
The reunion comes after Gordon Hayward agreed to a four year, $128 Million contract with the Boston Celtics.
Brad Stevens accepted the Boston Celtics Head Coach position on July 3, 2013, which left many Bulldogs fans devastated.
In his four years since joining the Celtics, Stevens has found a lot of success, and is restoring the power back into the legacy of the Celtics.
The Boston Celtics finished first in the Eastern Conference during the 2016-17 season with a 53-29 record (fourth best in the NBA). Their season ended in the Eastern Conference Finals as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, won the series 4-1 to move onto the NBA Finals.
Regardless of their performance in the regular season, the Celtics were still steps away from defeating the Cavaliers and contending for the NBA title.
The Celtics were among the teams fighting for Jimmy Butler and Paul George in trade offers, but were unable to come up with either of them (Paul George to the Thunder; Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves).
Boston was forced to turn to free agency to help solve their post-season issues and contend for the title.
Two of the main targets: Blake Griffin and Gordon Hayward
Griffin chose to stay in Los Angeles, as he signed a five-year, $173 Million deal.
Therefore, forcing the Celtics to join the Utah Jazz and Miami Heat by going all out on the Gordon Hayward sweepstakes.
The Celtics took Gordon Hayward and his wife to Fenway Park and used the screen to show him a video of Boston sports history/legends pic.twitter.com/DVlPyGRa0z
— Celtics Junkies (@CelticsJunkies) July 2, 2017
Their efforts were awarded when Hayward decided to take his talents to Boston.
Gordon Hayward, 2016-17 Western Conference All-Star, brings a lot to the table for the Celtics as he averaged 21.9 points per game, 4.2 assists per game and 4.7 rebounds per game.
Hayward will now have the opportunity to shine for a team built on NBA rich history. He will be the main option for the Celtics, but has a lot of support around him.
Boston Celtics Projected 2017-18 Roster
PG- Isaiah Thomas (‘16-’17 All-Star)
SG – Avery Bradley
SF – Gordon Hayward (‘16-’17 All-Star)
PF – Jonas Jerebko
C – Al Horford
Hayward will also have the opportunity to shine for the entire Eastern Conference.
Based on the NBA 2016-17 Rankings, LeBron James is the only Eastern Conference player from the top-14 after Paul George and Jimmy Butler were traded to the West.