The Boston Celtics have a lot to do this offseason, and the team’s to-do list could expand even more with the looming decision of Gordon Hayward with his player option. Does he opt in? Does he opt out and get re-signed at a lower average annual value? Does he opt in and get traded? Does he opt out and leave for another team?
No one knows! But according to ESPN’s Lowe Post Podcast, there are some ideas floating around about what could happen with Hayward this summer. Bobby Marks hopped on and reported that Hayward and his agent are following the “Al Horford plan,” meaning that his agent gauging league interest in Hayward, which should inform the forward of what to do with his player option.
In my personal opinion, the Horford plan really boils down to “rival team decided to throw the bag at a player who doesn’t fit the roster whatsoever just so that he could not suit up for the Celtics.” Some plan, amiright Sixers??
I don’t see this happening with Gordon Hayward, but of course, as a wise man once said, anything’s possible. Hayward should certainly see his options in full. Unlike Horford, Hayward finds himself in very unique circumstances that (hopefully) will never happen to the NBA again (no more pandemics please). It’s unclear how many teams are actually after him. Lowe went on to say, “We don’t know that any of this is happening. I’m just saying that there’s a little bit of buzz.”
“Something is mildly afoot here.”
Should teams be interested in Gordon Hayward? Absolutely. When healthy, he was everything you’d want out of a fourth option on offense, averaging 17.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 4.1 APG on 50% shooting from the floor. The problem is that he just kept getting injured at the absolutely worst times.
It’s impossible to know how much interest teams actually have in Hayward right now, but the Atlanta Hawks were mentioned by Lowe as a wild card team that could be interested in signing Hayward if he were to opt out. The Pacers have also been mentioned as a team with interest in Hayward, albeit as a trade partner more than as a threat to sign him away.
Here’s a friendly reminder that the Celtics could also use a player like Gordon Hayward. Having good players is better than not having good players, if you ask me.
Keep in mind that all of this is merely speculation, even on the part of Lowe and Marks. We’ll certainly get details quickly as soon as free agency opens up and deals start appearing out of nowhere even though teams aren’t allowed to talk to players right now. Funny how that works.