By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tuesday was supposed to be decision day for Gordon Hayward. Alas, there will be no Gordon Hayward decision on Tuesday.
The C’s forward initially had until 5 p.m. to decide if he was opting into the final year of his deal with Boston at a cool $34.1 million, or if he’d become a free agent. But Hayward and the Celtics have apparently moved that deadline to 5 p.m. on Thursday, which makes the situation all the more interesting.
Let the drama continue. It’s very reminiscent of his July 4th decision to sign with Boston, which was surrounded by controversy when the news broke before Hayward was ready for it to break. It was a big mess, and it involved a lot of waiting for Celtics fans.
And now, more waiting.
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
That puts Hayward’s deadline after Wednesday’s NBA Draft, indicating that the Celtics and Hayward’s camp could be working on a trade that the two parties both agree upon. Maybe there is even a third team involved with a few selections on Wednesday also part of the deal.
And if nothing works out, Hayward can simply opt out on Thursday and be on his merry way. Losing Hayward for nothing at all certainly doesn’t help the Celtics, since him leaving doesn’t mean the Celtics get all of that cap space, but at least Hayward gets to pick his next team.
A sign-and-trade out of Boston is also a possibility, and there’s also a chance that the Celtics and Hayward could agree to a long-term extension, depending on how the free agent market shapes up after the draft. But if this is the two sides working on a long-term extension, chances are they’d already be there.
Either way, something is up. And it seems as though Hayward’s time in Boston could be coming to an end in the next few days. That means the Celtics are losing a talented — though oft-injured — playmaker off their roster, one that Danny Ainge will have a tough time replacing this offseason.