3 dark-horse landing spots for Celtics star Gordon Hayward

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks, NBA Draft
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks make sense for Gordon Hayward for a few reasons, both of which are important. They need a star, and Hayward can be that player. He’s the type of proven player who can come in and immediately help others buy into Tom Thibodeau’s system. 

But the other reason the Knicks make sense for Hayward is because New York has more than enough cap space. In this regard, the Knicks would probably be better off if he opts-in for the final year of his contract. 

If Hayward opts in, he’s guaranteed only next season. One positive for the Knicks over the next few years is their amount of payroll flexibility. New York has very few commitments beyond 2021. If Hayward opts in, he’s still come off the Knicks’ payroll in 2021.  

It would be a different discussion altogether if the Knicks had to sign Hayward to a three or four-year contract as a free agent. But these trades are obviously contingent on the assumption that Hayward opts-in, meaning he’d reach free agency in the 2021 NBA offseason instead. 

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