After a day of reports and re-evaluation, Gordon Hayward announced on The Players Tribune that he is going to join the Boston Celtics. Hayward wrote an explanation of why he was leaving Utah, which he titled "Thank You, Utah."

Toughest decision of his life

Hayward went to write that this was one of the toughest decisions of his life. He said that he had countless conversations with his wife about where he should play next season. The reason he wrote the announcement himself was because he wanted to make sure he told the story straight to Jazz fans.

He said that all his meetings with the Heat, Celtics, and Jazz were fantastic.

He went on to apologize that there were reports going around that he was joining the Celtics without a formal announcement. He said that he had not made his decision when the initial reports of him joining Boston went out.

He went on to say that Jazz fans will always mean something to him. Hayard spent the first seven years of his career in Utah, blossoming into a 27-year-old All Star. He then wrote about memories he had with former assistant coach Mike McCown, massage therapist Doug Birrell, developmental coach Johnnie Bryant, coach Quin Snyder, and strength coach Isaiah Wright.

Coach Stevens was an influence

He referenced Celtics coach Brad Stevens as a reason for joining the team. He credits Stevens for helping him make another tough decision in college.

Hayward was going back and forth between joining the NBA draft and staying at Butler. Hayward says he talked about every detail with Stevens, and that Stevens helped him every step of the way. He credits him as being someone he knew he could count on when making this decision as well.

Winning culture

Hayward likes that Boston is a town of pride when it comes to winning. He referenced all of the other sports in the city. He wants to continue that trend by helping the Celtics win a championship. He said that his work in the NBA is not finished, and winning a championship is something he wants to bring to Boston.

Huge acquisition

Hayward will join Al Horford, Isaiah Thomas, and Avery Bradley as fundamental pieces for the Celtics. Now, the Celtics will have to make moves to sign Hayward. The Celtics will have to pull their offer from Kelly Olynyk. They will also have to denounce their rights to Jerad Jerebko, James Young, and Gerald Green, along with finding a team to take Terry Rozier or Marcus Smart. This is the second straight summer that the Celtics have reeled in a top free agent, as they brought in Horford last year.

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