Hayward, Wilcox sign; Mickey waived; Red stays

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On this day in Boston Celtics history, the team officially signed All-Star veteran forward Gordon Hayward away from the Utah Jazz in free agency after a kerfuffle on the fourth of the month over whether he had actually left the Jazz. The Butler product’s contract, a four-year, $128 million deal with a player option on its final year, started on a gruesome note that took several seasons to recover from.

A devastating injury to his ankle ended Hayward’s first season with Boston just a few minutes into the 2018-19 NBA season. The Indiana native worked diligently over the next two seasons to get back to his old self and abilities.

Unfortunately, by the time he had mostly recovered his game, it was on a team that needed him in less of a starring and more of a supporting role.

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Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

As a result, Hayward decided to decamp to the Charlotte Hornets in the 2020 offseason.

The Indianapolis native averaged 13.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game with the Celtics over three seasons.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It is also the anniversary of former Celtic big man Chris Wilcox signing with the team in 2012.

Wilcox, a former Maryland standout, had last played for the Detroit Pistons before signing on to reinforce Boston’s aging frontcourt in the latter days of the Banner 17 crew. He played 89 games over two seasons with the franchise.

The Raleigh, North Carolina, native averaged 4.6 points and 3.3 boards in his time in green and white.

AP Photo/Gene Herrick

AP Photo/Gene Herrick

A pivotal moment in Celtics history came in 1978. Legendary team president Red Auerbach decided to turn down an offer from the New York Knicks, after the Celtics’ new owner, John Y. Brown, had made a mess of his roster by making trades without consulting Auerbach.

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“It started on the streets of Boston,” Auerbach said via the New York Times’ Sam Goldaper.

Red Auerbach

Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

“Average fans, not the season‐ticket holders or the rich ones,” continued Auerbach, “but the average guy just stopped me and said, ‘Red, don’t leave.’”

“From there it just spread to my players, former players. I got calls from John Havlicek, Frank Ramsay, Dave Cowens and Jo Jo White. Everyone just let me know in no uncertain terms that they wanted me to stay, and I found that very flattering. Havlicek told me he wouldn’t be there on opening night to have his number retired if I left Boston. When I left to go to New York to meet with Werblin and Burke, the pilot on the Eastern shuttle said, ‘Hey Red, don’t leave.’”

Mercifully, he did not.

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Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, today is also the day former Boston forward Jordan Mickey was waived by the Celtics in 2017 to make room for the Hayward signing. Mickey, a former LSU star, had been drafted by the team 33rd overall in the 2015 NBA draft.

A native of Dallas Texas, the former Tiger had put up 1.4 points and 1.1 rebounds per contest while with the franchise. He moved on to a stint with the Miami Heat and a successful overseas career.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

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