- Hayward is likely to stay in Boston after the current NBA season
- Hayward peaking for Celtics after years of struggling
- Boston ready to give Hayward long-term deal
There are decisions to make for the Boston Celtics this summer concerning Gordon Hayward. The 29-year-old owns a player option this coming NBA offseason although it remains to be seen if he will pick it up. Seeing how other players have opted to pass and see how much they would be worth in the open market, Hayward could be worth more than that $37.187 million paycheck.
There is reason to believe that Hayward could decline the player option to get a better and longer contract after the 2019-20 NBA season. The good news is that the Celtics seem to be open to the idea of handing him one, the Boston Sports Journal reported. But then again, Boston has had sudden changes in direction, particularly when one thing of team president Danny Ainge. He is no stranger to holding on to players at a certain point but has so far been justified. Could it be the same case for the All-Star forward?
Hayward is still young and has been having a good season for the Celtics. In 36 games, he has averaged 17.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists, per Basketball-Reference.com. Comparing these to his career averages, they are obviously a whole lot better. And if he stays the course, it appears Gordon is just getting warmed up, meaning better performances are up ahead.
Staying healthy has been the key to the 6-foot-7 swingman. Most know how disastrous his first year was in Bean Town, suffering a broken leg that kept him out for the entire 2017-18 season. He had his struggles last NBA season as he tried to fit into the system of head coach Brad Stevens. This year, it appears he has blended in well, making him part of the great core the Celtics have right now. He has managed to play well with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker, a big reason why they are running third in the NBA Eastern Conference.
Rather than Hayward Ainge and Stevens may want to explore candidates to make the team stronger. With Al Horford no longer around, their biggest waterloo is the middle. Enes Kanter has been trying to full up that void but a reliable center could make the Cs all the more formidalbe. The summer should prove to be very intriguing for the Celtics who are expected to quietly fill in the gaps in their rotation.