Gordon Hayward opted out of his Celtics contract on Thursday sending Celtics nation into a frenzy. If this is the end of the Hayward era in Boston, what is his lasting legacy with the Celtics? Was the contract a success and what do you want to see Danny Ainge potentially get back from the Knicks or Hawks if he is walking to one of those destinations? Multiple reports found New York pursuing Hayward and the Knicks cleared more cap space earlier in the afternoon. Talks are still ongoing between Boston and Hayward.
The Celtics and Hayward can continue to work on a new contract into free agency or a sign-and-trade to get Hayward to a team like the Pacers without cap space. The Knicks and Hawks have emerged as two destinations that do not have to trade for Hayward. Once free agency begins Friday contracts will move fast, so we should know Hayward’s best path in short order.