The New York Knicks have been swinging at big star names over the last few years and have swung and missed. Now, they have their sights set on another name. That name would be current Boston Celtics star wing Gordon Hayward.
According to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Knicks have been “aggressive” in their pursuit of Hayward. He also reports that the growing sense around the NBA is that Hayward will decline his player option with the Celtics and enter free agency.
While the Knicks have a lot of interest in brining Hayward onboard, there are quite a few other teams with interest in him as well. Among those teams are the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, and Indiana Pacers. It won’t be a forgone conclusion that Hayward will choose the Knicks.
Hayward has come back completely from the gruesome ankle injury that he suffered in his first year with the Celtics. He is back and ready to take on a bigger role with another team than the one he has had in Boston.
Last season with the Celtics, Hayward ended up averaging 17.5 points per game to go along with 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He shot 50 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from the three-point line.
Those numbers show exactly why the Knicks and so many other teams are interested in Hayward. He is a star and is capable of being the focal point of an offense. With the Celtics, he is stuck behind Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker.
Expect to hear a lot more news coming out about Gordon Hayward in the coming hours and days. He could choose to opt-in to his contract with the Celtics and work out a sign-and-trade deal, but entering free agency makes sense too. Either way, the Knicks are going to be after him.