Celtics wing Gordon Hayward

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How Gordon Hayward could be impacted by Draymond Green’s extension

Nick Friar
August 05, 2019 - 7:00 am

Draymond Green was one of the better players lined up to hit free agency next summer. The Warriors made sure he didn’t have a chance to test the market, giving him a four-year extension on Saturday.

The 2020 NBA free agent class already had a limited amount of talent, with Anthony Davis being the lone superstar who could hit the open market should he chose to opt-out of the final year of his current deal.

Green and Golden State’s decision may affect how things go for Jaylen Brown next summer, though he’s not the only current Celtic Boston has to worry about at the end of 2019-20.

Believe it or not, this next season could be Gordon Hayward’s last in green. Hayward inked a four-year deal with the C’s in the summer of 2017, which also featured a player option for 2020.

With Green out and Davis’ future unclear, Hayward could be one of the best free agents in 2020. And if he bounces back like Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens think he will, Hayward is only going to further his case.

The important detail to keep in mind: the 2021 free agent class is loaded. We’re talking LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Blake Griffin, all of which have player options. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Victor Oladipo and Bradley Beal will be unrestricted free agents and Davis will, too, should he play 2020-21 with the Lakers. Pretty sure all of those guys are going to get paid, and paid well, before Hayward does. They may not leave enough cap space for Hayward to bring home another huge contract.

In addition to Green, Jamal Murray and Ben Simmons are no longer in the mix either; both would have been restricted free agents. Hayward may want to see what other offers are out there. He’s going to be one of the best players in a thin class. So unless everyone plans to save up for 2021, he’s in position to get a sizeable deal.

Because the names Hayward will go up against in 2020 — DeMar DeRozan (player option), Otto Porter Jr. (player option), Kyle Lowry (unrestricted free agent), Paul Millsap (UFA), Pascal Siakam (RFA), Buddy Hield (RFA) and Caris LeVert (RFA) to name a few — simply don’t hold a candle to the 2021 group.