He is the best fourth option in the league, but after several injuries, what options does Gordon Hayward have this offseason?
When the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward to a four year, $128 million dollar contract to play alongside Kyrie Irving, we thought things would be different.
- 2018: Gruesome injury. Damn… okay freak accident. Rehab and come back next year.
- 2019: Not the same guy. Understandably, the guy dislocated his ankle.
- 2020: Next year, the Celtics are hitting stride playing with Kemba Walker and Hayward suffers a Broken Hand. Comes back, playing well, and sprains his ankle and misses the majority of the playoffs and ultimately led to the Heat finishing the Celtics in six games.
Gordon Hayward’s 2019-2020 Stats:
Regular Season: 17.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG (50% FG, 38.3% 3P, 85.5% FT)
Playoffs: 10.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.4 BPG (40% FG, 29.2% 3P, 87.5% FT)
Regardless of whether his injuries are ‘flukes’ or not, Gordon’s championship window with Boston is closing. He hasn’t been healthy or on the floor in the playoffs in his three years here. It’s a shame because when healthy, he’s the perfect fit for the Celtics offense with his playmaking and perfect shot selection. One year left on his contract, this is a showcase year for Gordon Hayward, for Boston, and the rest of the league…
CHANCE: 60 percent, you could probably bet on Gordon Hayward opting-in and run it back.
Sign and Trade
No. At $34.1 million, a sign & trade with Gordon Hayward would hard cap the books for the Celtics so, N. O.
CHANCE: Below 0, No Chance.
Agrees to trade
It’s tricky replacing Gordon Hayward. Not many guys in the league can do what he does as a fourth option. Luckily the Celtics have a plethora of wings so it’s possible they look to upgrade at the center position or their bench production. If Gordon Hayward opts-in, two trades the Celtics could make are with the Pacers and the Kings.
Celtics receive: Myles Turner & Jeremy Lamb
Pacers receive: Gordon Hayward & Vincent Poirier
Celtics receive: Buddy Hield & Nemanja Bjelica
Kings receive: Gordon Hayward
CHANCE: 15 percent, It’s not likely that Hayward gets traded but there are a few players that Danny Ainge may not pass up.
There may be financial incentives for Gordon to opt-in and restructure his deal. Hayward could extend his contract to have long-term security with a three-year extension worth $70 million. The team-friendly deal helps the Celtics add depth to the bench that Brad Stevens did not trust in the playoffs. This isn’t an easy bet though, we thought Al Horford would take a championship discount and that turned into the disaster in Philadelphia.
CHANCE: 20 percent, I think the chances of Gordon Hayward restructuring his contract are slightly higher than him being traded. Honestly, it may be what’s best for him long term because of his fit with the Celtics, but $34 million dollars is a lot of cash (pre-tax, lol).
Leaves in Free Agency
Speaking of Horford, there’s a possibility that Hayward has something lined up and just leaves the Celtics in free agency. I don’t know how many teams would be calling, offering $34 million next season but again, Horford surprised us. The Mavericks could use a playmaking wing to play in compliment to Luka and Porzingis. The Knicks and the Hawks are also in need of Hayward’s services, but the current success of those teams isn’t anywhere close to that of the Celtics.
CHANCE: 5 percent, Hayward isn’t in the same market that Horford had. Coming off several injuries and playoff letdowns, Hayward probably shouldn’t just opt-out.
What should Gordon Hayward do this offseason?
If you’re reading this Gordon, please restructure and sign a team-friendly long-term deal. But seriously, for long term security, this is the best option for Hayward because he would still make over $20 million per year and have the opportunity to win a title. The MOST LIKELY outcome of the Gordon Hayward dilemma is that he opts-into his $34.1 million dollar contract and showcases a healthy Gordon, for one last chance with the Celtics.