Gordon Hayward Declines Player Option, Will Be Unrestricted Free Agent

Gordon Hayward declined his player option for the 2017-18 season with the Utah Jazz, making him an unrestricted free agent, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported Thursday.

According to Spotrac, Hayward would’ve earned a little over $16.7 million if he had opted in to the final year of his contract.

Most expected Hayward to become a free agent after he averaged 21.9 points per game and shot 39.8 percent from beyond the arc.

The 27-year-old could potentially command a max deal on the open market, with Bleacher Report’s Josh Martin estimating he might earn a four-year contract worth $130 million.

While the Jazz can offer him more money than any other team, that might not be enough to keep him in Salt Lake City. Stein provided more perspective on Hayward’s situation:

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday the Celtics hope to sign Hayward and then shift their focus toward a possible trade for Indiana Pacers forward Paul George. By moving to Boston, Hayward would not only be playing for a genuine title contender, he’d also be reunited with his former college coach, Brad Stevens.

Utah may be able to convince Hayward to re-sign, but the next week or so will be a stressful time for Jazz fans as they monitor the rumors swirling around the team’s best player.

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

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