Tim Bontemps: Hayward's option deadline is now officially Thursday afternoon, sources tell ESPN. Both sides get more time to assess the situation.
Gordon Hayward has until then to decide on exercising his $34.1 million player option, restructuring with his team of the last three, mostly snake-bitten seasons, or, perhaps, continuing his NBA career somewhere else. According to two league sources, the playmaking power forward hadn’t made up his mind on picking up the option as of Monday night, one expressing the belief that Hayward would ultimately opt in and remain with the Celtics.
The other pointed to what is sizing up as a ripe market. “All I know is that there’s a lot of people who want him,” said the source. Should Hayward decline his option and pursue free agency, it would mark the second straight year that the Celtics lost a prime rotational player in this fashion, with Al Horford’s flight last season to Philadelphia registering a shock cross the league.
Mark Murphy: Gordon Hayward has not decided on his $34.1 M option yet, and has until 5 p.m. tomorrow to exercise it. The Celtics have myriad options of their own to still consider. League source: "All I can say is that a lot of people want him."
The Celtics have offered their three first-round picks (nos. 14, 26, and 30) in trades to try and move up, according to multiple league sources. So far, no one is biting. If the Celtics stay here, Hampton would make sense because he could serve as a spark-plug scorer off the bench. If Gordon Hayward were to leave Boston, secondary shot creation would be needed sooner rather than later.
Could Gordon Hayward be planning on a similar move this offseason? That’s the buzz according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who discussed Hayward’s future on the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast. “There’s some buzz out there. And I can’t figure out what the buzz means,” Lowe said of Hayward’s potential free agency. “The buzz that I’m hearing is like the smoke, the smoke indicating that something is happening. I’m not sure what’s up, but I don’t think it’s a lock that Gordon Hayward is on the Celtics next year.”
NBA Central: "The buzz that I’m hearing is like the smoke, the smoke indicating that something is happening. I’m not sure what’s up, but I don’t think it’s a lock that Gordon Hayward is on the Celtics next year." - Zach Lowe pic.twitter.com/b6IZRzcaNJ
Few teams project to have cap room this offseason. Hayward isn't going to earn close to the kind of money he'd turn down from Boston if he opts out. "Hayward is picking up his option, no doubt," the former Western Conference executive said. "[Center Enes] Kanter thinks he's better than $5 million. He should opt out."
What will Hayward do with his player option and what will his role be next season? Scotto: I think you and I can safely say a $34 million player option for Hayward is getting picked up for next season. King: When you talk to people, the assumption is he will pick that up. Obviously, with the way the salary cap uncertainty is, there aren’t going to be as many teams with cap space, to begin with, this offseason. A lot of them are younger teams that Hayward probably wouldn’t be a great fit on. I think he picks up the player option. I think that’s safe. The discussion around him mostly relates to how expensive this Celtics roster is going to get moving forward.
The Celtics head into the offseason with a group that, for the most part, should return. Hayward has a hefty player option for next season that he will likely pick up. All of the other core members of Boston's rotation will be under contract for at least next season.
Shams Charania: New player option dates for 2020 NBA free agency: Anthony Davis: Oct. 14 Gordon Hayward: Oct. 17 DeMar DeRozan: Oct. 17 Mike Conley Jr.: Oct. 17 Andre Drummond: Oct. 17
John Hollinger: Let’s start off by saying I expect Hayward to opt in, as I wrote recently, because I see an unfavorable market for his services this summer. With one exception, the teams with enough cap room to make him consider turning down $34 million from Boston are also in the midst of rebuilding … meaning going all-in on a 30-year-old who had a serious injury two years ago probably won’t be near the top of their list.
The team to worry about, at least a little, is Miami. Hayward nearly signed there in 2016 before picking the Celtics, and the Heat are absolutely in win-now mode. Miami can’t offer the same money in the short term — I project them to have $27 million in room, and that number shrinks if the current, pre-COVID-19 projected cap number ends up adjusted downward due to the ramifications from the shutdown.
Around the league, front-office executives say they expect that Hayward will opt-in. “It’s too much money to pass up,” one general manager told Heavy.com. “He could get a longer deal if that is what he really wants. But I don’t think the Celtics want to give it to him, they have a lot of young guys to pay and the starting (salary) number on whatever the contract is will not be close to $34 million. He can opt in this year and then take a big contract next year. When you look at what he has done since his injury, he has only gotten better. He could get better next year and be ready for the summer of 2021.”
Another front-office executive, from the Western Conference, told Heavy.com that even before the coronavirus forced the NBA into a suspended season, he expected that free-agent conditions will give Hayward an easy decision. The only X-factor is whether Hayward has an agreement in place with the Celtics to opt-out and sign a longer deal. “There wasn’t going to be a whole lot of free-agent money on the market this summer no matter what,” he said. “That was always going to make it difficult to figure out how to opt-out and get paid. He could do that and re-sign with the Celtics and there may already be a handshake deal for something like that. I don’t know for sure but it would not surprise me.
The Celtics rely on Hayward as part of their wing-centric lineup but they may have suitors to fend off. Charlotte, who previously signed him to an offer sheet in 2014, is projected with $26.7 million in cap space. Miami, who is projected with $26.5 million in cap space, also pursued Hayward in 2017, although indications are that they want to keep the keg dry for 2021. Other teams with at least that much cap space include Atlanta, Detroit, and New York. It seems unlikely that Hayward would want to leave Boston, and none of these teams other than New York can offer Hayward a true maximum contract (projected $40.3 million starting salary). If Hayward opts out, expect him to re-sign with the Celtics on a long-term deal. He is still getting minor injuries every now and then, so it would be wise to get the security given his history.
A league source confirmed to BostonSportsJournal.com the Celtics remain very interested in bringing back Hayward over the long-term whether or not he elects to pick up that option this summer. Price point is always going to be an area of concern for the C’s with future deals though as seen last summer when the team declined to match the hefty four-year $109 million offer from the Sixers on Al Horford (and also give up the assets necessary to make a sign-and-trade to keep Horford and bring on Kemba Walker).
It’s therefore important to know how Hayward will deal with his decision. He has $34,187,085 on his deal for next season, but can sever the contract and become an unrestricted free agent again. So what’s up, Gord? “I haven’t thought about it at all,” he said. “I haven’t thought about it at all.” At all? “Nope,” Hayward said. “I’ve never done that.”
Gordon Hayward: “When I was a restricted free agent, I didn’t think about it. Then when I was a free agent (unrestricted in 2017), I honestly didn’t think about it until after the season. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it this time, too.”
As for his larger hoop dream, he was direct and to the point. “I want to win a championship here,” Hayward said. “I mean, that’s what my goal is. That’s what my focus is. You know, after the season, you sit down and discuss things. But right now I’m trying to play my best basketball to help us win a title. That’s my focus.”
Scott Souza: #Celtics Gordon Hayward said Kyrie Irving recruited him to Cleveland as RFA in 2013 "then LeBron came & squashed that whole thing."
Jared Weiss: Celtics sources had said they were more nervous when the report came out early, that there could be new pressure to change Hayward’s mind.
Scott Souza: #Celtics president Danny Ainge said he was genuinely concerned when initial reports of Gordon Hayward picking C's proved premature.
Pat Riley on returning his 2016-17 core, "We were all geeked, happy, really about the team that we put together." On how it came together, "As soon as we found that Gordon was not going to be with us, we moved very quickly on all of them."
The news just keeps getting worse for the Utah Jazz on the Gordon Hayward front. Although not nearly as devastating a blow as losing Hayward to Boston — as the All-Star recently announced would happen — the Jazz have not been able to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics, according to sources. Barring an unexpected breakthrough in the next few days, no deal between the two teams will happen.
In the aftermath of Hayward's decision, the Jazz attempted to work out a sign-and-trade with Boston to acquire small forward Jae Crowder in exchange for Hayward, among other assets, according to sources. Those talks fell apart, however, as the week progressed. The Jazz tried to make a deal work, but couldn't find a deal the Celtics believed was worth it.
Spencer Checketts: BREAKING: According to multiple sources, Gordon Hayward is expected to sign with Boston outright, and the Jazz will receive no compensation.
Jody Genessy: Gordon Hayward won't officially sign with Boston until next week after physicals from the Detroit trade are completed, per league sources.
Jody Genessy: Classy move by Jazz with full-page ads in the Deseret News and SL Tribune. Not sure if they prepared multiple versions. (h/t @JazzDoingGood)
Running low on matches or lighter fluid? Don’t burn your old Gordon Hayward jersey — donate it. That’s the vision of Zach Harding, who works in Salt Lake City and whose company will be traveling to Ghana in September through World Joy, a foundation in North Salt Lake. Among the hygiene kits and school supplies that his company hopes to provide to African children, Harding thought it would be a good use of unwanted Gordon Hayward gear to offer it to them as well. "Instead of wasting or destroying your jersey, I just had a thought that maybe we can give it to people who might never have seen a jersey in their lives," he told the Tribune. "Maybe it would brighten their day over there."
Robin Hayward: I'm excited to go on this adventure with this man! It's bittersweet leaving where we've called home and grown our family, but I'm excited to see where this path takes us! We are so grateful for everything Utah has done for us! ❤️ Also, as for all the mean comments and threats. Don't forget athletes are humans too. Treat others how you would like to be treated. It would never cross my mind to speak so negatively and so full of hate about oneself or their family.
Quin Snyder: To further lament Gordon’s departure does not honor the commitment we have to our current players. Therefore, I would like to personally wish Gordon well as he and his family move on with his career. As we move forward, we’ll continue to focus our attention on the place it is most needed and wanted, our players and the entirety of the Jazz organization.”
Nonetheless, the agent said Hayward was “strongly leaning” toward Boston but was still undecided. The Celtics hadn’t heard from his camp at that point, either. “People can say now that that report was right. It was not,” Bartelstein said. “Anyone that says they knew Gordon knew what he was doing didn’t know. How could they know? Because he didn’t know.”
Boston surpassed Miami the following day after Hayward and his wife, Robyn, got the chance to spend time with Stevens, general manager Danny Ainge and the Celtics. “I think this is the spot,” Hayward told his agent during a phone call from the plane Sunday night. “I think this is the right place for me.” Added Bartelstein, “The whole Celtic mystique and tradition was really inspiring for him to be a part of that.”
A. Sherrod Blakely: Jaylen Brown was at practice facility when Hayward visited, said he was asked to be there.
Utah Jazz All-Star free agent Gordon Hayward has agreed to a four-year, $128 million maximum contract to sign with the Boston Celtics, league sources told The Vertical. Hayward’s contract will have a player option in the fourth year, league sources told The Vertical.
With Gordon Hayward now agreeing to a four-year $127M max contract, Celtics management now has a series of transactions to do in order to create cap space. The Celtics would have to pull the qualifying offer on Kelly Olynyk, renounce free agents Jonas Jerebko, James Young, Gerald Green and waive the contracts of Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson (or trade).
Gordon Hayward: My meetings with all three teams during this process — Miami, Boston and Utah — were just unbelievable. They couldn’t have been more impressive. Each meeting left me convinced that the team I’d just met with was the right fit. And even after I slept on it last night, while I was leaning heavily in one direction … I still wasn’t 100-percent convinced about what I wanted to do.
Gordon Hayward: I know that will be tough to hear for Jazz fans — and I really want you all to know that you mean the world to me and my family. Over the past few days, I’ve been genuinely torn. And I know that this process isn’t easy on the fans, either. So I just want to be as straight-up as possible about why I’m coming to Boston.
And I guess it’s pretty crazy. Because seven years later, I had to make an even tougher decision — and again, Coach Stevens and I found ourselves at a crossroads together. And again, he was the person I knew I could count on the most. And now I’ve decided to sign with the Boston Celtics.
Shams Charania: Free agent Gordon Hayward has agreed to a four-year, $128M deal with the Boston Celtics, league source tells The Vertical.
Gordon Hayward: This has been the toughest decision that I’ve ever had to make in my life. This weekend has probably been the longest weekend of my life. And today … well, today has definitely been one of the craziest days of my life. But I wanted to make sure that I got this right.
One league source said by phone moments later that Boston had been extremely confident that it would sign Hayward, but that it was unclear whether a deal had been finalized. Then another league source said that Hayward had indeed pledged to become a Celtic. This also was confirmed by numerous media outlets around the league.
Soon afterward, however, there was a sudden shift. Multiple reports and sources suggested that Hayward had yet to notify the teams involved in his courtship.
League sources said that the Celtics remained in contact with Hayward’s representatives on Tuesday, too, adding that there was little clarity about the situation on Boston’s end as of Tuesday night. When afternoon turned to evening, all sides mostly went silent, stirring rampant speculation about what the holdup might be.
A Hayward Decision would be quite helpful right about now. After all, he has some experience with it. That video comes from 2011 as Hayward parodied LeBron’s Decisionto announce that he was joining the IGN Pro League, which is a professional eSports league.
Isaiah Thomas was a key Boston Celtics recruiter for Gordon Hayward. The All-Star point guard is beloved around the NBA and surely was a draw for the Utah Jazz All-Star forward in his free agency decision. So when word started to come out that Hayward had chosen the Celtics in free agency …
Anthony Chiang: As of now, Heat have not been informed they were eliminated from the Gordon Hayward sweepstakes, according to source.
Barry Jackson: We reported pessimism on Hayward/Heat front this AM, and ESPN's Woj reports Heat was eliminated from consideration last night. His agent hasn't addressed that, but Heat deserves to be informed if this is true so Miami can start making other moves.
When asked about a timetable as to when the 27-year-old All-Star would make a decision, Bartelstein said there is no definitive timeline at this moment. As far as the reports about his client agreeing to come to Boston, Bartelstein said it was something that clearly bothered Hayward. “He’s upset someone would report that,” Bartelstein said. “He’s trying to re-evaluate everything.”
Ira Winderman: At Orlando summer league there was plenty of "hearing he's leaning [this or that way] way" regarding Hayward. That's different than done.
Hayward hasn't yet informed the Jazz he has decided to sign with Boston, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Boston would now need a series of transactions to create cap space for Gordon Hayward. The Celtics would have to pull the qualifying offer on Kelly Olynyk, renounce free agents Jonas Jerebko, James Young, Gerald Green and waive the contracts of Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson (or trade).
Sam Amick: Gordon Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, is indeed saying he hasn't made decision yet. Meanwhile, Celtics celebrating his alleged decision.
A. Sherrod Blakely: League source confirms @Celtics will sign Gordon Hayward when the moratorium ends on July 6. The C's get their man and ...
David Locke: Really disappointing news for Jazz Nation. Gordon Hayward grew up with us and became a star under the tutelage of the Utah Jazz. Compounding the frustration is the Jazz did everything right over the last months to secure a contract from Gordon including consulting with him on moves. It feels as thought consciously or unconsciously Gordon has his mind made up in this process a long time ago. The quote from Sam Amick that he was torn makes me think the Jazz rocked his world in the last few weeks and made him reconsider.
Gordon Hayward has committed to sign with the Boston Celtics, sources told ESPN's Chris Haynes, choosing their offer over the Utah Jazz, his team since 2010, and the Miami Heat. Hayward will be reunited with Brad Stevens in Boston, who also coached him in college at Butler.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Gordon Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, tells ESPN: "Gordon hasn't made a decision yet. We are still working through it."
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Utah Jazz are still waiting to be told of Gordon Hayward's intentions, league source tells ESPN. Hayward hasn't told them his plans yet.
David Aldridge: Okay. Strap in. Told by a source w/knowledge of the process that Gordon Hayward has NOT made a decision yet & is still in the process. FWIW.
Chris Haynes: Free-agent Gordon Hayward plans to sign with the Boston Celtics, league sources tell ESPN.
ESPN's Chris Haynes reported the Boston Celtics feel "really, really good" about their chances of landing top free agent Gordon Hayward. After meeting with the Celtics, Miami Heat and Utah Jazz, Hayward reportedly slept on his decision Monday night. He is expected to reveal his choice either Tuesday or Wednesday. "I will say this: I'm hearing Boston is feeling really good about their chances of getting him," Haynes said on television. "I don't know what that means, but I've been talking to people in Boston. They feel really, really good about their shot. So it's going to be tough. He met with Utah in San Diego for over three hours last night. Ricky Rubio actually flew from Spain to go down there and be present in that meeting. So they're laying it all out. And like I said, it would be really tough on the Jazz faithful if he were to bolt, knowing what the Jazz did to try putting themselves in position."
Gordon Scott Hayward (Gordon's dad): I retweeted the #Stayward video for family & friends. It was heartwarming and nicely done. Nothing more. I support whatever my son decides.
Austin Horton: Not from Hayward (obviously) or the Jazz, but I'm told the decision will be between Utah & Boston, is expected to be announced tomorrow🤞
A league source said there was no definitive timeline regarding Hayward’s choice. He would regroup after talking to Utah’s representatives and then come to a well-thought-out decision. If the Celtics sign Hayward, their heavy lifting during this offseason will be over.
David Aldridge: Can confirm Gordon Hayward is "sleeping on it" after meeting with Jazz Monday and will not make decision tonight. @Sam Amick first.
Jody Genessy: Gordon Hayward's agent said he'd hear pitches then "take a deep breath" before deciding. That decision won't be made tonight, per @Sam Amick
January 23, 2021 | 8:06 pm EST Update
Ryan Saunders will remain coach of the woeful Minnesota Timberwolves, at least until he gets an opportunity to coach a stretch with star Karl-Anthony Towns in the regular lineup. “I haven’t even talked to (basketball president Gersson Rosas) about that — he hasn’t brought it up, but you’re asking me, and it’s probably hard to tell a guy that you aren’t doing the job when your best guy isn’t playing,” Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Saturday from his home in Mankato.
Taylor could make a popular diversity statement by naming hard-driving Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve to coach the Wolves. “I kid her about that, but I’m not making any changes — I’m talking to Cheryl, and we’re trying to put a really good team together for the Lynx right now,” Taylor said. “She’s planning on coaching them. “But,” Taylor added, “she’s an interesting person, isn’t she?”
For most of a year, Taylor has explored a sale of the Wolves and Lynx. How’s that coming? “Well, it’s not coming is the best way to say it,” Taylor said. “I haven’t found anything that for sure says I should move ahead.” Taylor’s price tag for the Wolves and Lynx is estimated to be in the $1.5 billion range. With NBA expansion — Las Vegas and Seattle have been mentioned — current team owners could each be in for a reported $160 million expansion fee windfall. “Obviously I’m aware of that — you’ve got to pick your time,” Taylor said, adding that no definite decision for expansion has been made. “The other question: Is now a good time to sell when you don’t have fans? And it’s not a good time.”