98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The Boston Celtics and Gordon Hayward have successfully bought themselves some extra time.
After reportedly reaching out to the league in the hopes of extending Hayward’s deadline to opt in or out of the final year of his max contract (worth $34.2 million in 2020-21) beyond the 5 p.m. deadline set for Tuesday night, the deadline has officially been extended to Thursday, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
What exactly this extension means is unclear, but it likely has something to do with facilitating a potential Hayward trade.
There’s also the possibility of a Hayward return to Boston, of course, but where there’s smoke there’s fire.
And there’s a ton of fire when it comes to the 30-year-old’s uncertain future in Boston.
The Pacers have been mentioned as a potential Hayward destination all offseason, and while it certainly and obviously helps that Hayward is from the area and lives there in the offseason, Indiana has some notable pieces that would interest the Celtics, with big man Myles Turner (a definite need for Boston) at the top of that list. It almost makes too much sense, really.
The Celtics also threw Hayward’s name in their pitch for Pelican-turned-Buck guard Jrue Holiday, according to The Ringer.
Extending this deadline works out the potential for an extension-and-trade, and with the Celtics able to look at the 2020 NBA Draft landscape to build the best package with Hayward, as the C’s enter tomorrow’s draft with three first-round picks.
Hayward averaged 17.5 points per game last year, and set single-season career-best marks in rebounds per game (6.7) and field goal percentage (50 percent).
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