The Knicks have been aggressive in their pursuit of Gordon Hayward all week, sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 19, 2020
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
SNY’s Ian Begley later said that the Knicks had interest, but may be moving in a different direction:
Filed this to SNY a few minutes ago: some Knicks decision makers have indeed had interest in acquiring Gordon Hayward. But it’s seen as less likely now that the club used its draft picks last night. Full story posting soon. Ringer and NY Times also noted NYK-Hayward interest— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 19, 2020
The Knicks and Hawks will both have in excess of $40M in cap space. Both have been rumored to be on the lookout for veteran additions to supplement their young rosters. Atlanta’s GM Travis Schlenk has openly said he wants to improve his team’s passing and shooting, which are two areas Hayward would help in.
As Begley notes, the Knicks got even younger at the 2020 NBA Draft when they selected Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. That may take them down a longer rebuilding path that Hayward doesn’t fit.
As of this writing, Hayward’s option decision for 2020-21 as not been made or reported on.