Gordon Hayward has told the Jazz he’s opting out of the final year his contract and will hit the open market, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports.
Hayward, who was long expected to opt out, will meet with the Heat, Celtics and Jazz—in that order—at the start of free agency early Saturday morning, Stein adds.
Hayward has spent his first seven NBA seasons in Utah, where he has blossomed into a formidable offensive threat after an unremarkable first few years in the league. He was an All-Star for the first time last season while averaging a career-high 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Celtics fans have been especially keen on the idea of reuniting Hayward with his college coach, Brad Stevens, which would add another weapon to a team that reached the conference finals last season. The Jazz believe, though, that the Heat are just as likely to pry Hayward away from Utah, according to Stein. Utah’s advantage is the ability to sign Hayward to a five-year contract worth around $180 million.