As the Celtics continue to use their three first-round picks as fodder for something bigger — quite possibly in a draft night trade — another part of their picture will become significantly clearer by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Gordon Hayward has until then to decide on exercising his $34.1 million player option, restructuring with his team of the last three, mostly snake-bitten seasons, or, perhaps, continuing his NBA career somewhere else.
According to two league sources, the playmaking power forward hadn’t made up his mind on picking up the option as of Monday night, one expressing the belief that Hayward would ultimately opt in and remain with the Celtics.
The other pointed to what is sizing up as a ripe market.
“All I know is that there’s a lot of people who want him,” said the source.
Should Hayward decline his option and pursue free agency, it would mark the second straight year that the Celtics lost a prime rotational player in this fashion, with Al Horford’s flight last season to Philadelphia registering a shock cross the league.
But amid multiple reports of Danny Ainge trying to secure major veteran help — especially big man help — a Hayward sign-and-trade may also be in the offing.
With all of these possibilities considered, though, the Celtics will know a lot more about their immediate future by 5 p.m.
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