Boston Celtics SF Gordon Hayward has decline his player option for the 2020-21 season, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He was set to make $34.2 million in the final year of his deal with the Celtics. Now, he’ll enter unrestricted free agency and can sign with any team.
Hayward had signed a four-year, $127 million deal with the Celtics back in 2017. The 30-year-old forward was injured in his first game with the Celtics back in 2017, missing the entire 17-18 season. Over 125 regular-season games with the Celtics, Hayward has averaged 13.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists with 48/35/84 shooting splits.
The Celtics had been trying to work out a sign-and-trade to try and recoup some assets for Hayward. Knowing that he was likely to opt out of his deal is probably one of the reasons why Danny Ainge wasn’t able to spark a trade. So Hayward will enter free agency and could be the top name on the market. It makes sense for him to become a UFA; with a shallow market, there’s a chance some team will give Hayward a bloated deal or one that is 3-4 years.