Celtics’ Hayward will leave NBA bubble for baby’s birth

Boston forward Gordon Hayward said Friday he will leave the team — and the NBA bubble near Orlando, Fla. — when it’s time for the birth of his fourth child if the Celtics haven’t been eliminated.

Hayward’s wife, Robyn, is due in September. The Eastern Conference semifinals are set to begin Aug. 30, with the conference finals scheduled to commence by Sept. 15.

If the Celtics are still in the playoffs after the baby’s born, Hayward will be required to quarantine for four days upon his return to Florida and have multiple negative tests for COVID-19 before he can rejoin his team.

Hayward, 30, said his family takes priority.

“That’s a pretty easy decision for me on that,” Hayward said via video conference call. “I’ve been there for the birth of all my children.”

Boston (43-21) is in third place in the Eastern Conference, 9 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks and three behind the Toronto Raptors. Still, many expect the Celtics to make a run for the conference title.

Hayward was a key contributor for Boston before the season was halted on March 11 for the coronavirus pandemic. In 45 starts, he averaged 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.