NBA Free Agency News: Celtics Signed Gordon Hayward Over 'Unfinished Business' as Jazz Fans Burn His Jersey

The summer's most eligible free agent, Gordon Hayward, agonized over where to play in what should be the prime of his career.

In the end, the bonds of a shared history may have pushed Hayward towards the Boston Celtics.

Hayward revealed his decision to leave the Utah Jazz, where he has played since he was picked ninth overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, via the Players' Tribune website.

"Now I've decided to sign with the Boston Celtics," Hayward wrote.

"There were so many great things pulling me in that direction. There was the winning culture of Boston, as a city—from the Sox, to the Pats, to the Bruins. There was the special history of the Celtics, as a franchise—from Russell, to Bird, to Pierce, and it goes on. There was the amazing potential of this current Celtics team—from ownership, to the front office, to a talented roster with Isaiah, and Al, and everyone else. And of course, there was Coach Stevens: Not just for the relationship that we've built off the court—but also for the one that we started building on the court, all of those years ago, in Indiana."

In Boston, Hayward reunites with Brad Stevens, his head coach from his time at Butler University in Indiana. Hayward and Stevens came within a shot of a National Championship against Duke in 2010, when Hayward missed a half-court buzzer-beater.

Hayward, who visited the Miami Heat and could have chosen to remain with the Jazz, has signed a four-year deal that will pay him $128 million, according to ESPN. He became an All-Star for the first time in 2017, a year in which the Jazz reached the Western Conference semifinals, only to be eliminated by Golden State Warriors in four games.

Hayward made sure in his address to mention his affection for Utah. "I feel like this city took me in, as part of its own family," he wrote.

That tenderness may not have been reciprocated. USA Today Sports reported how Jazz fans have started to burn Hayward replica jerseys, using the hashtag "Betrayward."