This year’s NBA free agency has the potential to get a bit more interesting. According to multiple reports, Boston Celtics‘ forward Gordon Hayward is thinking about rejecting his player-option for the 2020/21 season and entering the open market.
Hayward has struggled with injuries in recent years, so many people believed that he would jump on the opportunity to earn a $34.1 million salary next season with the Celtics. But the 30-year-old player obviously believes his past success might still net him a satisfying long-term deal.
During a recent appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo dropped a surprising bit on Hayward, saying that the former All-Star “does want out” of his deal with Boston. According to Russillo, this scenario becomes even more likely if the player gets guarantees about a rich contract somewhere else.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe previously hinted at a similar scenario, saying that he “doesn’t think it’s a lock that Gordon Hayward is on the Celtics next year” during his recent podcast.
Gordon Hayward would certainly draw sizeable interests from around the NBA if he opts out, considering that this year’s free-agent class lacks in big names. However, it is unclear how much money the teams would be willing to spend on a player that played just 125 games in the past three seasons. Hayward also hasn’t been productive in a while, averaging just 13.9 points per game in Celtics’ jersey.