Gordon Hayward has opted out of his $34 million deal for the 2020-21 season with the Boston Celtics and will become an unrestricted free agent, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
According to the New York Times' Marc Stein, the Knicks have been aggressive this week in their pursuit of Hayward. The Pacers are also reportedly interested in the forward, according to Stein.
Hayward, 30, averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 52 games for Boston last season while shooting 50% from the field and 38% from 3-point range.
He joined the Celtics in the summer of 2017 on a four-year max contract, reuniting with his college head coach Brad Stevens. However, Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle injury just six minutes into his first game with Boston and missed the remainder of the 2017-18 season.
He played in 72 games in 2018-19, starting just 18 of them, and averaged merely 11.5 points, his lowest total in a complete season since his rookie year. While he started 52 games last year, he sustained a Grade 3 sprain in his right ankle in Game 1 of Boston's first-round playoff series with the 76ers that kept him out until midway through the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Heat.
Boston selected Vanderbilt G/F Aaron Nesmith with the No. 14 pick in Wednesday's 2020 NBA draft and Oregon point guard Payton Pritchard with the No. 26 pick. They later added Israeli guard Yam Madar in the second round.
Free agency officially begins at 6 p.m. ET on Friday.