After hearing rumors that Gordon Hayward may opt-out, here’s what it means for the Celtics.

The financial implications of Hayward opting out and leaving the Celtics in free agency is the worst-case scenario because we don’t just get $34 million to sign another big name. Hayward may not even get the full $34 million with the revenue-hit the NBA took due to the pandemic. Luckily for the Celtics, Hayward’s value is truly unknown outside of his role as the fourth option in Boston. The hope is that he opts out, but resigns a smaller deal to stay contending with the team.

Even if he decides to stay. Gordon Hayward may opt-out, here’s what it means for the Celtics.

Potential Suitors

Gordon Hayward may opt out, here's what it means for the Celtics.

Feb 13, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) throws a pass while being defended by Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Whether it’s in a trade or free agency, Gordon Hayward’s options are limited and if he wants to opt-out and go and play for a losing franchise, be my guest but I just don’t see that happening. There are plenty of teams that would definitely take Gordon Hayward. New York said that they are open to taking in “unfavorable contracts.” Detroit is in the midst of a rebuild and could make an offer for Hayward. The Pacers have emerged as a potential destination for Hayward, should the Celtics look to move him.

The only reason Hayward would leave the Celtics is if, like Al Horford, he knows that he can get a big contract from another team. Here are three potential suitors for Gordon Hayward.

Atlanta Hawks

The only team that can offer Hayward a similar contract is Atlanta, but would he really want to go there? I mean, sure he could be the missing piece to the Hawks’ starting five. Even then, he’s only barely making the playoffs to only get eliminated in the first round by either Milwaukee or Boston.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Another potential suitor for Gordon Hayward are the Cavaliers. Hayward would add the playmaking that Cleveland needs, but at what cost? They would have to offer a package centered around Andre Drummond and no Celtics fan should even think about adding Drummond.

Indiana Pacers

The most likely of the three. The Pacers could make the most valuable offer for Hayward if they decide to move Victor Oladipo and/or Myles Turner. Jeff Goodman thinks the Celtics should roll the dice on a trade for Oladipo. There’s incredible defensive potential with a lineup of Smart, Tatum, Brown, and Oladipo but with the uncertainty surrounding his next destination, Boston may want to look for another fit.

Outlook

Chances are that Hayward suits up for the Celtics next season whether it’s for the entire season or just a showcase for a deadline deal. It’s unlikely that he makes his decision before the draft, to avoid being shipped off in a draft-night trade to a losing franchise. Ultimately, Hayward just wants long-term security. A three or four-year deal worth anywhere from 70 to 100 million dollars is what he is looking for. But a thirty-year-old on the back end of his prime, with several freak injuries, how much do you think Gordon Hayward is really worth?


Adam Kemp

TheCelticsJournal - Senior Writer

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