Gordon Hayward has options this offseason and the 30-year-old forward has yet to decide on which NBA path to take. He could save himself the trouble by opting into his contract with the Boston Celtics where he would be guaranteed $34.2 million for the 2020-21 season.
Given that there are only a select number of teams with cap space to spare, there is no telling if Hayward would be dangled the same figures. But right now, seeing him opt-out would indicate that the 6-foot-7 forward is looking for a deal that would ensure him locked in for the next couple of years.
In a way, Hayward finds himself in a similar situation with former teammate Al Horford. Rather than stick it out with the Celtics, the 34-year-old opted to move to Philadelphia where he got a four-year deal worth $109 million with the Sixers. Critics questioned that deal, some believing it may have been too much.
Gordon Hayward rumors: ‘He’s doing the Al Horford plan,’ & ‘something is mildly afoot here’ per ESPN’s Lowe Post podcast https://t.co/ce4NC4yjBS — John Karalis (@RedsArmy_John) October 26, 2020
Making matters worse, Horford hardly lived up to expectations and has been the subject of trade talk. Right now, his name remains in the trade rumor mill although no team is likely to take the risk for now.
Hayward is a different player who is a scoring option for any NBA team. But the only worry of most is that has run into a string of bad luck the past couple of years. He has been frequently getting injured, meaning his durability would be a risk factor clubs would be concerned about.
Either way, the belief is that Hayward is following something that has now been called “The Al Horford plan,” Masslive.com reported. Hayward may opt for tenure than big money. But with the coronavirus factoring in now, it may be in his best interest to opt-in and check the free-agent market next offseason. There is no telling if things will change but there is a ray of hope that governing conditions will be a whole lot better compared to the present.
Only two teams loom as viable landing spots for the All-Star forward. The Atlanta Hawks need more scoring support, making Hayward a plausible addition. But this is on the premise he can keep himself healthy.
If not the Hawks, the Indiana Pacers have been suggested as well. It would be a homecoming for Hayward. The only problem there is that adding him makes no sense since the Pacers have young players like Domantas Sabonis and TJ Warren to bank on.