Cavs could be landing spot for Celtics forward Gordon Hayward

Tanya Simon
November 20, 2020

After working with the Boston Celtics to extend his player option deadline until Thursday, Gordon Hayward has opted out of his $34 million player option, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent, according to The Athletic's Sham Charania. After joining the Celtics in 2017, signing a four-year max contract after spending his first seven National Basketball Association seasons with the Utah Jazz, Hayward suffered a gruesome foot and ankle injury six minutes into his first game with the Celtics that October.

In their defense, the Celtics hardly had any choice with the major injury sustained by Hayward and the growth of both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Hayward has been tied to the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers in the last week.

Both the Pacers and the Knicks could not only use an infusion of talent to take another step forward as a franchise but have a need for a starting forward as well.

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"I would expect the Heat and Dragic to quickly come to a deal that would pay him in that $20 million range, with a potential team option for a second year", wrote Jackson.

Depending on how important a factor money is to Hayward, he could have a far greater number of suitors in free agency.

He had a strong 2019-20 season, and he improved his play during the postseason, averaging 19.1 points a game versus 16.2 in the regular season.

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