Gordon Hayward Expects To Be Ready For Opener

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward declared himself almost fully recovered in a meeting with the media today and said he believes he’ll be ready to play on opening night, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Hayward says he feels almost 100 percent, and explosion and cutting are the only remaining physical challenges, relays Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link).

Hayward was Boston’s prize free agent addition last summer, but he suffered a severe ankle injury on opening night. He still has two seasons left on his contract at nearly $64MM, plus a player option worth nearly $34.2MM for 2020/21.

“With each step I get some joy,” Hayward told reporters. “Now we’re at the final step.”

Hayward hopes to regain the form he had in Utah, where he made his first All-Star appearance in his final season with the Jazz. He averaged a career-best 21.1 PPG that year, along with 5.4 RPG and 3.5 APG.

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