The Atlanta Hawks might be eyeing Gordon Hayward, but that doesn’t mean the forward wants to end up there.
A waiting game is ongoing, as Hayward is determining whether he wants to opt in to the final year of his contract with the Boston Celtics. All the while, Celtics president of basketball operation Danny Ainge likely is scouring the market to see if there’s a trade out there for Hayward.
Certainly, both sides have a little bit of leverage and say as to what happens next, and they have to collaborate on that next step either way.
And according to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, Atlanta is not where Hayward wants to end up.
“According to a person familiar with Hayward’s thinking, the 30-year-old former All-Star wants to continue to be a core part of a winning team and would not want to go to Atlanta,” Weiss wrote in a story published Wednesday. “Hayward delaying his $34 million player option deadline to Thursday at 5 p.m. ET indicates that he wants more options. This rumor that the Hawks are in play seems like posturing to create a perception of leverage, that Hayward would be happy to join Atlanta either on his current contract or in a new multi-year deal.”
This is good news for the Celtics, as the Hawks have the potential to create a nightmare scenario for Boston with respect to Hayward (more on that here).
And while Atlanta does have some exciting young talent, it by no means is in the position to win anytime soon like Boston is.