A sign-and-trade deal is a possible route, but Atlanta is equipped with the most cap space in the league at around $44 million and can simply sign Hayward to a hefty multi-year deal if he made a decision to decline his option.
The worst case scenario for the Celtics is Hayward opting out and signing with another team, which would prevent the C's from trading him in any fashion and getting something in return. By delaying the deadline, both Hayward and the Celtics have more flexibility as they move through this unusually busy week. Celtics reporter Mark Murphy noted yesterday that Hayward had not yet reached a decision as to whether or not he wanted to pick up the option.
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Previous year with Boston, Hayward appeared to be starting to find the form that made him an All-Star in 2017. In 33.5 minutes per night, the 30-year-old averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, with 38.3% shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
Hayward signed with the Celtics in 2017 but has struggled over the past three seasons, largely because of injuries.