Say this about Gordon Hayward, he’s elite at making us wait for his decisions.
The guy who left us ignoring our backyard barbecues and slamming F5 on our Twitter feeds back on July 4, 2017 before confirming his intent to sign with the Celtics has reportedly agreed with the team to extend the deadline on his player option until Thursday.
Good news, bad news time for Celtics fans.
The good news is that the deadline extension suggests he’s not simply opting out and walking away to sign with a team with available cap space. If that was the case, there’s little reason to extend the window.
Just rip that Band-Aid. Boston seemingly avoids watching another All-Star walk away without compensation after Kyrie Irving and Al Horford did that last offseason.
The bad news is that the most obvious reason to extend the deadline is to allow both sides to facilitate a trade that both delivers Hayward to a desired landing spot while also allowing Boston to negotiate the best return possible. Waiting until after the draft to finalize could allow rivals to have a better grasp on how their rosters might look and allow certain draft-night scenarios to play out.
There is a slight possibility that this could simply buy the sides more time to negotiate a long-term extension but the silence from both camps seems to hint at working towards the trade goal.
Well, either that or Hayward just needs more time to finish up his Players Tribune article. Again.
Jokes aside, it seems all the little hints about Hayward wanting a fresh start could be pointing to that very scenario. Some Celtics fans, frustrated by Hayward’s health woes, will be content to see him moved. Alas, it’s unlikely the Celtics can get back talent with the same potential as Hayward and that potentially makes the team weaker at a time when rivals like the Milwaukee Bucks are loading up.
The Celtics will have three first-round picks in Wednesday’s draft. If any of those picks factor into a Hayward deal, the team would seemingly have to know that before Wednesday night in order to pick for the receiving team so more clarity could come before Thursday’s deadline.
Boston also has a Thursday deadline for the future of center Enes Kanter, who can opt into the final year of his deal worth $5 million but could be another trade candidate depending on Boston’s big-man desires.