New York Knicks are rumored to have shown interest in signing free agent forward Gordon Hayward.
The Boston Celtics signed Gordon Hayward back in 2017. He played a whole of 6 minutes before suffering a gruesome foot and ankle injury that ruled him out for the season. His 2018-19 season was a very shaky time as he was figuring things out on the court. The 2019-20 season was a step in the positive direction for Hayward. He averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 52 games last season.
However his time with the Celtics was marred by injuries, and last season was no different. He broke a bone in his hand last November, had severe nerve pain in his foot in December. He also suffered a Grade 3 sprain of his right ankle in the very first round of the 2020 playoffs.
Gordon Hayward declines player option, Knicks show interest
There could be a multitude of reasons why Gordon Hayward declined his $34 million dollar player option with the Celtics. A few people believe he did so because he did not want to get traded to some team and wanted control of what happens to his future, which would not be guaranteed if he exercised his player option.
Others believe it is because he felt his role in Celtics had diminished, and he wants to contribute more. As soon as the news of Hayward declining his player option hit the news waves, there were rumors that the Knicks were showing interest in him.
The Knicks have been aggressive in their pursuit of Gordon Hayward all week, sources say
Amid a growing belief leaguewide that Hayward will decline his $34 million player option for next season, New York may loom as Hayward’s best option given all the Knicks’ newfound cap space
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 19, 2020
What are the other destinations where Gordon Hayward could end up?
Whereas the Knicks are the loudest voice in this chase, they aren’t the only ones. There are other teams also in contention for signing a talent like Gordon Hayward.
1. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have shown interest in Hayward but through trade. They do not have the cap space to sign Hayward but can trade Oladipo or Turner to Boston to make this possible.
2. Atlanta Hawks
There have been rumors for some time regarding the Hawks’ interest in Gordon Hayward. They initially planned a sign and trade with the Celtics, but with $44 million cap space, they can simply sign him to a contract now.
3. Boston Celtics
This is a rather far-fetched opinion, but Hayward might end up signing a longer-term contract with his former team. This way he could play with Brad Stevens for a longer period, and probably for a lower contract. This would allow the Celtics to shell out more money to resign Jayson Tatum when the time comes.
The free agency market opens up at 6 P.M ET. It would be interesting to see where Hayward heads to.