Will Gordon Hayward remain with the Boston Celtics? That’s a 34 million dollar question.
Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward is heading into a critical offseason. While he’s not quite ready to test the free agency market as an undrafted free agent — the 30-year-old veteran could seek a way out of Boston if he opts out of his contract ahead of next season.
Lately, there’s been some rumblings the veteran forward could be planning on a way out. According to Ryen Russillo of The Ringer, he’s heard that Hayward does want out of his final year in Boston. To add legs to the rumor, ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks also hinted that there’s some buzz around Hayward opting out to find a deal elsewhere.
Many are probably questioning Hayward’s thought process if he’s leaning towards opting out. After all, the star forward is set to earn over $34 million next season, per Spotrac. Considering his notable list of injuries in recent times, Hayward could struggle to see those kinds of numbers by obtaining a deal elsewhere.
But at the same time, Hayward could be on the hunt for something long-term moving forward. As mentioned before, Hayward is no stranger to injury setbacks. Since his devastating injury, which occurred back in the first game of the 2017-2018 season, Hayward has struggled to stay consistently healthy.
Plus, the ten-year veteran just suffered another notable injury during the Celtics’ NBA Playoff run. He might not earn as much going to another team, but his value may never be higher beyond this year — so locking in a long-term contract sooner than later could play out in his favor in the long run. Regardless of what happens, though, Hayward isn’t going to rush to any conclusions just yet.
Justin Grasso covers the NBA for The Sports Daily. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_