Decision time as Gordon Hayward's October 17 option deadline is looming
The off-season for the Boston Celtics begins today after being ousted by the Miami Heat. First on the agenda for Danny Ainge is Gordon Hayward's player option for $34.2 million next season, and the option date is October 17.
New player option dates for 2020 NBA free agency:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2020
Anthony Davis: Oct. 14
Gordon Hayward: Oct. 17
DeMar DeRozan: Oct. 17
Mike Conley Jr.: Oct. 17
Andre Drummond: Oct. 17
Gordon will-almost certainly opt in - take the big money - and see what transpires early in the 2020-21 season. From that point, whether he gets traded or stays depends on whether he remains injury free - how the season is going - and what teams may want to pick him up for a playoff run in 2021.
With Jaylen Brown's $22.9 million kicking in next season, and Marcus Smart set to earn $12.9 million, Gordon opting in would put Boston well over the Luxury Tax level. And with Jayson Tatum due a max contract for 2021-22, there simply is no way the Celtics can retain Hayward at max money.
Gordon will be 31 years old in March of 2021. That, and his injury history, means he most-likely won't fetch a big-money, multi-year deal with another team. With the promising play of the Jay Team and the improved offensive play of defensive whiz, Smart, I don't see those three heading anywhere.
It certainly didn't help Hayward's cause when he came away from last night's closeout loss with 12 points, one rebound and two assists in 32 minutes of action. Rumors of him heading home to the Indiana Pacers for Myles Turner persist. That could be a positive move for both teams if that deal can be worked out.