Celtics’ Gordon Hayward likely to pick up $34 million player option, says NBA executive

Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Hayward will likely pick up his $34 million player option with the Boston Celtics next season, according to an NBA executive.

Hayward will be in his final year of his contract, after signing a lucrative four-year, $127.8 million deal with the Celtics in the summer of 2017.

“It’s too much money to pass up. He could get a longer deal if that is what he really wants. But I don’t think the Celtics want to give it to him, they have a lot of young guys to pay and the starting (salary) number on whatever the contract is will not be close to $34 million.

He can opt in this year and then take a big contract next year. When you look at what he has done since his injury, he has only gotten better. He could get better next year and be ready for the summer of 2021,” an NBA general manager told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com.

Prior to the NBA suspension, Hayward was averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Celtics.