Gordon Hayward shocked the NBA community by opting out of the final year of his contract with the Boston Celtics and forfeiting $34 million dollars, especially considering the context of the pandemic and how that will affect free-agency.
There are a lot of people who believe that Hayward already has an offer sitting on his table for a long-term deal or else, he would have never just walked away from that much money or the possibility of being traded by the Boston Celtics.
That's why analysts around the NBA are speculating what's going to be Hayward's next move. He's not as valuable as he used to be but could still get paid a big buck on a 3-4 year deal as he looks to take his career back from the ground. Here, we'll let you know about the top 5 best destinations for him right now.
5. Detroit Pistons
Yes, we know the Detroit Pistons are going through a rebuild right now but they've done enough moves to maybe make a playoff push in the Eastern Conference. Also, they already have Blake Griffin under contract and they're not likely to trade him any time soon.
The Pistons have a new General Manager who already proved that he won't hesitate to be aggressive and make deals. Also, Hayward would instantly become their best scorer and would have a chance to showcase his talents, although maybe a short-term deal would be better for both parties here.
4. Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings have a long history of making terrible signings, so hopefully, this won't be the case. Buddy Hield is rumored to want out of the team and Bogdan Bogdanovic is almost a lock to leave, so Hayward could have his fair share of touches - and money.
The Kings are years away from contention and Hayward knows that, so this could only be possible if he's looking to cash in or prove to the world that he's not washed. He'll get plenty of chances to work his way back to his former level, that's for sure.
3. New York Knicks
Well, no one wants to be 'the savior of the Knicks' but at some point, they'll have to land a star, so why not Gordon Hayward? I mean, their front office has done some nice moves lately and they have enough cap space to pay him a lot of money and still sign someone else.
If the Knicks land Russell Westbrook, that Big 3 of him, Gordon Hayward, and Mitchell Robinson - with RJ Barrett also helping - could make some noise in the East and at least make the playoffs. Also, he'd salvage his legacy in the league by taking the Knicks back to the postseason.
2. Miami Heat
The Miami Heat are reportedly going to be quite aggressive to land another star this offseason, and while they can't offer as much money as the aforementioned teams, they'd give Gordon Hayward the best chance at contending for an NBA Championship.
However, there are rumors claiming that the Heat are looking to stay below the cap to make a run at the free-agent class of 2021, so perhaps they'll have to make a couple of moves before signing Hayward, or would only be interested in signing him to a 2-year deal with an option for the second.
1. Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks' front office promised Trae Young that they would get him some help and thus far, they've delivered. The Hawks look like a much-improved team from last season and still have some money to sign two bona fide veterans.
So, if they miss on Danilo Gallinari, they could make a run at Gordon Hayward to help with his two-way expertise. He'd make them better right away and he'd have a lot of touches as well as the team's second scoring option. This is the team that makes the most sense for him right now.