3 dark-horse landing spots for Celtics’ Gordon Hayward

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward holds a player option for 2020-21, the final season of his current contract. Even if Hayward opts-in, though, he may not necessarily remain in Boston.

Hayward has been the subject of much trade speculation this offseason, as Boston’s prized free agent signing from 2017 has had an injury-riddled tenure with the Celtics.

There was speculation recently by Zach Lowe on his podcast that Hayward may be employing the “Al Horford plan” — a nod to Horford’s decision to leave Boston to head to Philadelphia for a more lucrative deal.

“I don’t think it’s a lock that Gordon Hayward is on the Celtics next year,” Lowe said.

However, if Hayward was to opt-out, he would walk away from $34 million. If he lands another massive deal elsewhere, $34 million may seem miniscule. But until then, that $34 million amount will loom large.

On the surface, if the Celtics want to make big moves this offseason, a trade of Hayward makes sense. If he opts in, he’s one of Boston’s tradable assets — who is not named Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown — and he’d still bring something of value back in return.

Let’s take a look at three dark horse landing spots for Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward this offseason.