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.
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.
In 17 NBA seasons, Michael Jordan made $93.8 million. https://t.co/4SB4oj0DBe
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) November 21, 2020
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.
Hayward's career earnings now more than Duncan and Dirk's. Inflation happens but still.
— Ryan Bernardoni AC⚡️AB (@dangercart) November 21, 2020
Forget about a Jordan for a second... how would Hayward's NBA paychecks compare to another GOAT?
Tom Brady’s career earnings will be $285,166,804 by the end of his 44 YO season 🙃 https://t.co/80yLjzs2WR
— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) November 21, 2020
Hayward's expected career earnings even dwarf some of baseball's biggest stars.
Going by expected career earnings (earned + future)
Gordon Hayward: $330M
Manny Machado: $320M
Giancarlo Stanton: $317M
Justin Verlander: $274M
Joey Votto: $263M
Clayton Kershaw: $251M
David Price; $248M
I really should have been an NBA player now that I think of it https://t.co/yMq5rVJ7Jy
— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) November 21, 2020
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.