After years and years of stockpiling draft assets and valuable young players, Danny Ainge finally made his big moves this summer when he managed to convince Gordon Hayward to sign with the Celtics in free agency. Then, Ainge completed a somewhat controversial blockbuster trade that would get Kyrie Irving to Boston.
If you polled Celtics fans after the Irving trade was announced, you’d find a pretty fractured fanbase because of how beloved Isaiah Thomas was in Boston despite having only played for the team for just over two seasons. Isaiah Thomas has that effect on people. One such person was the team’s marquee free agent signing.
Hayward released a new blog post this afternoon detailing his decision to sign with the Celtics, and what he hopes to accomplish this season, among other things. Hayward would go on to detail exactly what Thomas did for him during the recruitment process.
He didn’t just help recruit me to Boston—he was a big piece of that recruitment. He had talked a lot about city and how it was different to be a Celtic. He talked about the intensity of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing at the Garden in the playoffs, and how much fun it was, and how much fun he had playing in Boston.
All of that ultimately helped win me over. And by the time of the trade, I had already started to build a little bit of a relationship with him.