If it wasn’t for another freak injury, Gordon Hayward might be up for consideration as unofficial Celtics MVP.
He played tentatively to start the season, but Hayward made some quick adjustments and started to show why Danny Ainge gave him that max contract back in the summer of 2017.
But the Celtics acquired another big name in the same summer as Hayward, and he’s no longer in Boston. In fact, across the league, there’s been a significant amount of player movement since Hayward joined the Celtics.
Boston was at risk of losing two big pieces in the summer of 2020: Hayward and Jaylen Brown.
Brown got his extension — and is showing he's worth the money.
Hayward has an option, so he has a decision to make.
During his appearance on WEEI.com’s 5 Out, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski gave Celtics fans reason to think the wing would want to stick around.
“I’ve had no indication he’s been anything but really happy with being in Boston,” Woj said. “I think it’s a question of, I think, his health, what happens between now and the end of the year, and is there an ability to do a longer deal where he is? Or, he plays it out at that number.”
Another thing that could play in the Celtics’ favor: Hayward’s injury history.
“I think, normally, without the injuries, you would’ve expected he would’ve opted out and did a new deal that would’ve been worth more money,” Woj said on 5 Out. “But I think, because of his injuries, that dictates it a little bit.”
Ironic that what’s kept Hayward off the court is what could inevitably keep him in Boston.