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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Report: Gordon Hayward expected to opt into final year of Celtics contract

Gordon Hayward

No matter what happens with the rest of this NBA season, Gordon Hayward will most likely be running it back with the Boston Celtics for one more year.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported this week that front office executives around the league expect the former All-Star to pick up his sizable $34.1 million player option with the Celtics for next season.

“It’s too much money to pass up,” an anonymous GM was quoted as saying. “[Hayward] could get a longer deal if that is what he really wants. But I don’t think the Celtics want to give it to him, they have a lot of young guys to pay and the starting [salary] number on whatever the contract is will not be close to $34 million. He can opt in this year and then take a big contract next year. When you look at what he has done since his injury, he has only gotten better. He could get better next year and be ready for the summer of 2021.”

Hayward, who recently turned 30, signed a four-year, $128 million deal with Boston in 2017, but the broken leg that he suffered in his first game as a Celtic set him back multiple seasons. He has finally started looking like his old self again this year though, averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists a game in 45 starts.

Cashing in on $34 million next year probably seems like a no-brainer, but concerns for the Celtics might be that forward Jayson Tatum is due for an extension soon and that Hayward is not entirely over his injury issues.

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