Gordon Hayward's Hornets deal pushes career earnings past sports legends

Dave Green
·2 min read

How Hayward's career earnings compare to legends like MJ, Brady originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

No wonder Gordon Hayward turned down his $34.2 million player option with the Celtics for the 2020-21 season.

Hayward didn't just find a good contract on the free-agent market... he found a fantastic deal with the Charlotte Hornets: a four-year, $120 million contract that is reportedly fully guaranteed.

That's a massive contract for a 30-year-old player who is several years removed from his last All-Star campaign and has a recent history of injuries. 

NBA Twitter rips MJ over Hayward's massive deal

Reaction to the deal was swift on social media, where many pointed out how his career earnings will compare to some of sports' biggest legends.

What's the difference? This contract alone will pay Hayward more than his new boss -- Michael Jordan -- made in his entire NBA career.

It's not just Jordan. By the end of his four seasons in Charlotte, Hayward's career earnings will exceed what two first-ballot Hall of Famers -- Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki -- made in their careers, which both ended more recently than Jordan's.

Forget about a Jordan for a second... how would Hayward's NBA paychecks compare to another GOAT?

Hayward's expected career earnings even dwarf some of baseball's biggest stars.

Was the $120 million a massive overpay for a franchise that only has three winning seasons in the last 18 years? That remains to be seen, but it sure looks like it right now.