Gordon Hayward‘s awkward handling of his free agency decison to join the Boston Celtics did not sit well with now-former Utah Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert.

The big fella, however, concedes that “you cannot be mad at somebody for wanting to play for another team.”

Gobert remains “very confident” in Utah’s chances going forward, and says they might even be better than last season’s 51-win squad.

Per ESPN:

“You cannot be mad at somebody for wanting to play for another team,” Gobert said while watching the Jazz’s summer league team in Las Vegas. “It’s just the way he handled it, that’s the thing I didn’t like. I’m happy for him at the same time. I hope he’s going to be happy over there and get what he’s looking for.”

 

Hayward did not inform Gobert or other teammates before announcing that he was leaving for Boston.

 

“To all his teammates, all the guys that he competed with for years, guys that sacrificed for him and for the team, not necessarily tell us but make sure as a team we can keep going forward if he leaves,” said Gobert, who traveled to San Diego along with Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles and Rodney Hood the previous day for the Jazz’s pitch to Hayward. “I think that wasn’t the best way to do it, but I’m over it now. I’m just focused on the team.”

 

Gobert, who is entering the first year of a four-year, $102 million contract extension, pointed to the trade for [Ricky] Rubio, the addition of lottery pick and summer league star Donovan Mitchell and the anticipated continued development of the Jazz’s young players as reasons for optimism.

 

“When you see the young guys and Ricky joining us, I’m very excited,” Gobert said. “We might end up being better than last year. Who knows? I think we’re going to keep getting better every year. The goal is to keep getting better and keep competing. The goal is still the same: win a championship in the close future.”

Related
Jazz Fans Burn Gordon Hayward Jerseys