The decision is in: Gordon Hayward is no longer under contract with the Boston Celtics.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 19, 2020
There is one glimmer of hope for Hayward to return or the Celtics to be compensated:
Now that Gordon Hayward has opted out, here are the paths forward:
-Re-signs with Boston
-Signs with ATL, CHA or NY outright
-Boston and Hayward work a sign and trade deal to a team over the cap
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 19, 2020
Hayward's opt-out viewed more as a formality. League source said it's still possible he returns to C's in restructured deal, unless, ala Al Horford, he receives home run offer from Atlanta or New York. "Gordon doesn't even know right now."
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) November 19, 2020
Hayward had a deadline of Thursday afternoon to either pick up his player option for a fourth season with the Celtics or opt out to become an unrestricted free agent. With $34 million waiting for him, opting in originally seemed like a no-brainer.
Another possibility was for Hayward to stay and agree on a renegotiated contract with more years at somewhat less money.
However, when Hayward didn’t declare his intentions on Tuesday – the original deadline – the picture became unclear for a suddenly jittery Celtics fanbase.
The worry was justified. Hayward walks away and is free to sign with any team. The Celtics get no compensation and now have a 6-foot-7 hole in their rotation.
As we all know, Haywood’s potential Boston career was effectively destroyed after just 5:15 of playing time in his first game. Last season he also suffered a broken hand and badly sprained ankle. In three star-crossed seasons with Boston, he played in just 125 regular season games and 14 playoff contests.
In other contract news:
Boston has declined a qualifying offer to guard Brad Wanamaker, making him an unrestricted free agent, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 19, 2020
Per source, although the Celtics declined to issue Brad Wanamaker a qualifying offer, there remains a chance that he could return to Boston, particularly if Hayward does not.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) November 19, 2020
Much more to come about all this during the rest of the week, here on Red’s Army.