Boston Celtics

Celtics officially announce Gordon Hayward signing

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Celtics officially announce Gordon Hayward signing

It's official. The Celtics announce the signing of free agent Gordon Hayward. 

Here's the team's official press release:

BOSTON, MA –The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed All-Star forward Gordon Hayward. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Whether you’re talking about the team’s past, present, or future, the Boston Celtics are truly special,” said Hayward. “I can’t wait to be part of the winning culture of Boston, and to join my teammates and coach Stevens as we work together to bring Celtics fans Banner 18.”

“I’m very happy to welcome Gordon and his family to the Celtics organization and the city of Boston,” said Celtics governor and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck. “He has improved his game every year in the NBA, to an All-Star level. We have been patient during this rebuilding process, and hope to step forward and compete at the highest level.”

A first-time NBA All-Star in 2016-17, Hayward (6-8, 226 lbs.) logged career highs with 21.9 points (47.1% FG, 39.8% 3-PT, 84.4% FT) and 5.4 rebounds, while also adding 3.5 assists, 1.00 steal and 34.5 minutes in 73 games (all starts) with the Jazz last season. His 21.9 points per game scoring mark represents Utah’s highest single season scorer since Karl Malone averaged 22.4 points in 2001-02. The Indianapolis, IN native was also one of 10 NBA players to produce at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists while also shooting 47.0% or better from the field last season.

Hayward’s All-Star season culminated with a postseason run in which he averaged a team-best 24.1 points (44.1% FG, 41.2% 3-PT, 93.4% FT), 6.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 37.4 minutes in 11 playoff games for the Jazz. The versatile veteran scored 20 or more points in eight of those 11 contests – including a postseason career-high 40-point performance on April 21 vs. the LA Clippers – helping guide Utah to its first Western Conference Semifinals appearance since 2009-10.

“This is a big day in Celtics history,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “Adding Gordon as a current All-Star, in the prime of his career, to an already good group of players is reason for excitement.”

Continued Ainge: “Gordon brings a great work ethic and character along with his ability to shoot, pass, and create offense in the pick and roll. His athleticism, size and versatility will allow him to fit in perfectly defensively as well.”

"We are thrilled to welcome Gordon and his family to Boston,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “He's a tremendous competitor and a great teammate who constantly seeks improvement, and consistently impacts winning. I am looking forward to working with him, once again, as we all continue to strive to compete for championships here in Boston."

Originally selected with the ninth overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft by Utah, Hayward, 27, has posted career averages of 15.7 points (44.4% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 82.0% FT), 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.02 steals and 31.3 minutes in 516 games played (408 starts) over seven seasons with the Jazz. Hayward’s scoring totals have improved each year since he entered the NBA out of Butler University, making him the only NBA player to have increased his scoring in each of the last seven seasons.

Hayward will wear number 20 for the Celtics.

 

NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

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NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

NEW YORK - NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact.

The new rules interpretations are being unofficially called the "Harden Rule" and the "Zaza Rule". The Washington Wizards accused the Celtics' Al Horford of a dangerous closeout on Markieff Morris that injured Morris and knocked him out of Game 1 of their playoff series two weeks before the Pachulia-Leonard play.

Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at a replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure.

"It's 100 percent for the safety of the players," NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia said Thursday.

The NBA had made the freedom to land a point of emphasis for officials a few years ago, because of the risk of injuries. 

Officials can still rule the play a common foul if they did not see a dangerous or unnatural attempt by the defender upon review. Borgia said Pachulia's foul would have been deemed a flagrant.

With the fouls on the perimeter shots - often coming when the offensive player has come off a screen and quickly attempts to launch a shot as his defender tries to catch up - officials will focus on the sequencing of the play. The player with the ball must already be in his shooting motion when contact is made, rather than gathering the ball to shoot such as on a drive to the basket.

"We saw it as a major trend in the NBA so we had to almost back up and say, `Well, wait a minute, this is going to be a trend, so let's catch up to it,"' NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said.