But if the Celtics do hope to improve by trade this offseason, Hayward may be the movable piece that can bring back a player under a substantial salary. “[Ainge] likes Hayward. They probably just make a run at it next year with the same team,” the former executive said. “Who is going to take Hayward? He’s damaged goods now.”
Then there are the other members of the Best Five. Hayward won’t be opting out of his contract unless he has a long-term extension in place, which will be hard for a 30-year-old with a concerning injury history. Indiana is still home for the Haywards, and with Victor Oladipo looking to move on this offseason, according to sources, and Myles Turner possibly in the same boat, there could be an opportunity for Ainge to move Hayward and the abundance of draft picks in his war chest in a mutually agreeable way. Boston won’t have cap space again with three stars locked up long-term, so moving Hayward or Marcus Smart presents one of the few opportunities to get back a player making starter-caliber money.
Last year, Ainge passed on cashing in early on Terry Rozier, which worked out well as he was able to use Rozier to execute a double sign-and-trade for Walker. The move could have enabled Boston to retain Al Horford. Though it’s unlikely Horford would have struggled in the same way he did in Philadelphia if he stayed in Boston, the 34-year-old is starting to show his age. The Celtics likely will want to do the same with Hayward, who was exactly what they hoped for this season. Even with the COVID-19 recession, there should be cap space when Hayward’s deal expires, so the sign-and-trade option might not be as feasible as it was a year ago. Either way, there does not appear to be an impetus for Ainge to make an immediate move with Hayward.
The reality is, the Celtics don't have easy options even if they were determined to upgrade in the middle. While one could have some fun with the Trade Machine, Boston has made it clear to anyone who has asked that their core players are absolutely not available. That includes, sources said, both Hayward and Smart, players who have been floated as possible trade chips in the past.
The Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics are in ongoing talks over a sign-and-trade that involves Gordon Hayward getting a max contract and Jae Crowder coming to Utah, league sources told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday.
League sources told The Tribune that Hayward and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, have agreed to help facilitate a sign-and-trade. Utah would sign Hayward to a new max deal, then send him to Boston in exchange for Crowder, who has just short of three years and $22 million remaining on his contract.
Tanner Ainge, son of Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, is feeling the effects of that decision — at least on social media. Tanner Ainge, who is seeking to replace Jason Chaffetz in Utah's 3rd Congressional District, was vocal on social media about wanting Hayward to stay with the Jazz. Most recently, he tweeted a link to a MassLive.com article about the Massachusetts “millionaire tax,” which taxes higher amounts to those who make more than $1 million in the Bay State.
"Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have a lot of influence there," Ainge said in an interview with the Deseret News weeks before Tuesday's news about Hayward. "Ultimately, Gordon is going to make the decision. I hope he stays."
Will Hayward's decision to flee to Boston affect Ainge's campaign? Republican operative Chuck Warren told Newsweek (also before Tuesday) that it might, since the race for Chaffetz's seat remains wide open. Warren said the frontrunners are Ainge, Provo Mayor John Curtis and former state legislator Chris Herrod. A three-sided coin would help decide the race, he said.
Meanwhile, George is intrigued by the idea of playing with Hayward, sources close to him have told ESPN.com. If Boston adds one more asset, they can disrupt L.A.'s best-laid plans.
Joseph Horner: Same with Hayward. Interesting idea. - RT: Albert Nahmad: The power of the new designated veteran player rules will be in full display with Paul George this summer, even if he doesn’t make All-NBA. Pacers can give Paul George a DVP payout if gets All-NBA this season OR next season. By trading him, they’d lose 2nd major shot to keep him. Paul George has been an All-NBA player before. Making it again is not unrealistic. Which gives Pacers and trade partners lots to consider. Pacers need to decide whether they want to trade Paul George, who may not be able to pass up DVP money to stay if earns All-NBA next season. Even if Paul George requests a trade and says he won’t re-sign with the Pacers, he might reconsider if he has an extra $75M on the line!
Hayward is now in his seventh (and best) NBA season, all spent with the Jazz. When he did hit restricted free agency in 2014, it was Charlotte—not the Celtics—who made a max offer that was matched by Utah. And while rumors have persisted that the Celtics would somehow land Hayward, the Jazz have never had serious trade talks about dealing Hayward to Boston or anywhere else. To date, at least, the Hayward-to-Boston story has been more myth than reality. But the Celtics will have their best shot at him in the coming months, with Hayward hitting unrestricted free agency this summer and Boston easily able to clear enough cap room to make him a max offer.
The problem is that Utah, winners of 15 of their last 21 games, is in position to make the playoffs for the first time in six years and is just now cashing in on years of difficult rebuilding. They have no desire to let Hayward walk, and with the trading deadline still seven weeks away, they’ve not considered offers for Hayward. That could change. As one league source pointed out, “No one does things more quietly than Utah,” and the 2011 trade of Deron Williams to the Nets, which seemingly came out of the blue, is a good example of that.
There is a sense the Celtics would love to pry away Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, who has a player option next year, which few in the NBA believe he’ll exercise meaning he’ll likely be an unrestricted free agent. There were rumors around the draft that Hayward would welcome a trade, but Jazz sources downplayed any reported unhappiness. Still, there is a real risk that Hayward could walk next July.
Jazz sources said it’s highly unlikely the team even considers a trade for Hayward, but that won’t stop the Celtics from checking the temperature there as teams head into the new NBA season in late September.
The premise — that Hayward is unhappy and has demanded a trade — simply isn’t true, multiple sources in the Jazz organization and close to Hayward told the Deseret News. Would Hayward like to play for his old Butler coach and close friend Brad Stevens? Of course he would. Anybody would be silly to believe otherwise.
Does that mean he’s unhappy in Utah and wants out? Absolutely not. “There is no truth to this rumor,” one team source said. “Gordon has been terrific.” Lindsey put it this way when asked if an unhappy Hayward had demanded a trade: "Unequivocally no."
That said, Hayward is as competitive of a person as you’ll find, so there are some things he would like to see changed in Utah, another source confirmed. He wants to win. He wants better talent around him after a 40-42 season left the team out of the playoffs for the fourth straight year. He’s wanted to play with a really good point guard, which, by the way, makes the trade for veteran George Hill a smart move by the Jazz. But there were no demands made by Hayward, who has a strong relationship with Jazz coach Quin Snyder and his Utah teammates.
The Boston Celtics have been pursuing a number of established veterans in the buildup to Thursday's NBA draft, offering trade packages built around the No. 3 overall pick, according to league sources. But sources told ESPN that the Celtics, to date, have been rebuffed in their efforts to assemble a sufficiently enticing deal to acquire any of these four prime targets: Chicago Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward and Milwaukee Bucks teammates Jabari Parker or Khris Middleton.
July 1, 2022 | 5:36 am EDT Update
It’s no coincidence the two franchises Durant has eyed represent some kind of stability and competitive consistency, with the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat being atop his list. For all the influence Durant perhaps craved and was granted in Brooklyn, he’s a hooper first and second — with the game being the main thing with #HeatCulture and in the Suns’ building. Sources told Yahoo Sports wanting to play alongside Devin Booker is a main motivation, along with the possibility of being slated next to Miami’s resident hard-ass Jimmy Butler — two players whose attendance is rarely questioned.
Joe Ingles agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks, as announced by his wife on Twitter. I had heard and thought there was a chance Portland would bring him back despite his age and recent knee injury, but they have too many other moving parts right now for that to make sense. He’ll have to settle for being on the Mount Rushmore of Blazers legends alongside Festus Ezeli, Anderson Varejao and Mehmet Okur.
July 1, 2022 | 2:47 am EDT Update
When the two-time NBA Finals MVP made it known he wanted to be traded out of Brooklyn, expected business quickly fell by the wayside as teams tried to reposition themselves to at least make an offer. According to a source, the Bulls were a part of those phone calls, despite Durant reportedly having the Heat and Suns among his desired destinations — and despite the reality that the Bulls don’t have the type of high-profile player or quality of draft picks the Nets were looking for in a trade package.
Phoenix has the kinds of players who might make this a win-win for all involved — namely, Suns small forward Mikal Bridges and restricted free agent center DeAndre Ayton. In the days before Irving’s choice to opt-in, sources close to Ayton had raised this possibility of an Ayton-Bridges deal being very much on their radar. At that time, however, it was unclear whether Durant was going to ask out.