NBA Rumor: Gordon Hayward Trade?

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Hornets officially land Gordon Hayward in a sign-and-trade deal

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One of the moves they could be targeting to improve their chances of doing so is swapping center Andre Drummond for Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics. “Something I’ve been hearing across the league the last few days is while we don’t know how the Gordon Hayward situation is going to shake out, something that could be possible is a Gordon Hayward-Andre Drummond swap,” Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said during NBC Sports Boston’s draft special. “That’s something that a lot of league execs I’ve been talking to have discussed.”

As noted in a recent episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Boston is looking to upgrade at center either via the draft by trying to move up to select James Wiseman or Onyeka Okongwu. Some executives around the league could see a swap of Hayward for Pacers center Myles Turner making sense as well. Another trade candidate to keep an eye on is Enes Kanter if he opts into his $5 million player option, according to HoopsHype colleague Yossi Gozlan, who is our salary cap expert.

Could Gordon Hayward be planning on a similar move this offseason? That’s the buzz according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who discussed Hayward’s future on the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast. “There’s some buzz out there. And I can’t figure out what the buzz means,” Lowe said of Hayward’s potential free agency. “The buzz that I’m hearing is like the smoke, the smoke indicating that something is happening. I’m not sure what’s up, but I don’t think it’s a lock that Gordon Hayward is on the Celtics next year.”

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.


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.

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.

Celtics' trade offers rebuffed

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.
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September 28, 2021 | 5:08 am EDT Update