UPDATE: Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics have officially agreed to push back his player option deadline to 5:00 PM ET on Thursday, November 19.
Per league source: Gordon Hayward and Boston have agreed to push Hayward's player option deadline to Thursday, 11/19 at 5:00 PM ET.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 17, 2020
Per ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics are negotiating to update Hayward’s deadline for exercising his 2020-21 player option. Hayward has until 5:00 PM ET on Tuesday, November 17 to opt in for $34.2 million for the upcoming season. Per Lowe’s report, Hayward and the Celtics are discussing pushing the deadline back to 5:00 PM ET on Thursday, November 19.
Gordon Hayward and the Celtics are working to extend the deadline on Hayward to decide on his $34.2 million player option for the 2020-21 season from today at 5 p.m. to Thursday afternoon, league sources tell ESPN.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 17, 2020
If the original deadline had stood, Hayward would have had to opt in or out prior to the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday, November 18. If Hayward were to opt in, he would be trade eligible at the draft.
As long as Hayward remains a pending free agent, he’s not eligible to traded. This includes for as long as his option remains in limbo, or if he opts out.
Hayward’s future has been the subject of much speculation for months around Boston and the NBA as a whole. There are only four teams with significant cap space this offseason, and none seem like a perfect for Hayward as a free agent.
There is also no guarantee that if Hayward opts in, that he would stay with the Celtics. Because his contract is so large, Hayward would be a major trade chip to help Boston go in a different direction and fortify some other roster needs.
By delaying the option deadline, it could mean Boston is working on various scenarios regarding Hayward. This could include negotiating a new contract if Hayward were to opt out, finding a trade partner for Hayward if he opts in or finding a sign and trade opportunity if Hayward opts out.
Stay tuned to CelticsBlog for all the updates on Hayward and the rest of Boston’s offseason!