The New York Knicks have gone fishing for Celtics’ forward Gordon Hayward. Former team president and current Knicks’ coach Tom Thibodeau is pushing for this move.
Hayward has a $34.1 million player option for 2021. He can either accept it, stay in Boston and still get traded, or he can opt-out of the player option and sign a longer deal with another team.
We look at the pros and cons of the Knicks potentially landing Gordon Hayward.
Hayward- A Skillful Big Man
The 6 ft 7 in small forward is an elite ball handler. He is the perfect player for the modern game with excellent 3-point and free-throw shooting percentages. He has a quick-release on the jumper, good offensive rebounding skills, and a high basketball IQ.
Hayward can form a respectable frontcourt tandem with the athletic and explosive Julius Randle.
Can Lure Other Superstars to the Knicks
With Gordon Hayward on their roster, the Knicks could become a more attractive destination for potential suitors. The 2017 All-star is well-respected in the league, and his addition could entice the likes of Russell Westbrook or Chris Paul to form a duo in New York.
The Knicks wouldn’t want to miss out on the chance to add either ‘CP3’ or Westbrook to their team, with both of them potentially available for trade. They have enough cap space to accommodate the high salaries of at least two marquee players.
Hayward Is Injury-Prone
It is hard to ignore the injury record of former Utah Jazz forward. He has failed to truly recover ever since breaking his ankle during his debut season with the Celtics in 2017. When he was finally beginning to hit his stride this season, he broke his hand.
He missed games yet again with just 52 outings under his belt. With him crossing 30 this year, age is not on his side. The Knicks might not want to have the Wizards’ John Wall situation.
Hayward May Be Past His Prime
Reiterating on his age and poor injury record, Hayward might be past his physical prime already. The Knicks can look for other younger players in this free agency or wait another year to lure star players in.
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