Gordon Hayward will opt out of the remaining $34.2 million on his contract to test the free agency market, and that decision could have ripple effects on multiple teams. Of course, with the possibility of a sign-and-trade still looming, Boston Celtics trade rumors are running wild.
One report from Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe details that the Indiana Pacers are interested in such a sign-and-trade, adding that Hayward wants to play there and head back home to his roots in Indiana. The offer he details reveals that the Pacers are willing to offer Myles Turner and Doug McDermott for Hayward’s services.
But then Washburn drops the bomb: Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is only willing to budge for either Victor Oladipo or the package of Myles Turner and T.J. Warren.
Danny Ainge needs to calm down and take the Pacers’ offer for Gordon Hayward
Celtics fans are use to Danny Ainge overvaluing his own assets, but this is taking it to another level.
To be fair, Hayward is coming off a very good season despite the injuries in the bubble that kept him out during pivotal playoff games. The 30-year-old averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game last year, shooting an efficient 50 percent from the floor and 38.3 percent from 3-point range.
However, the Celtics could very easily lose him for nothing, and getting a return package of Turner and McDermott is not only fair value-wise, but it’d address some very real needs for Boston if it wants to contend for an NBA championship.
While Turner’s offense leaves a lot to be desired, there’s no question about his ability to alter and block shots at the rim. The 24-year-old has averaged more than two blocks per game in each of the last two seasons, including a league-leading 2.7 per game in 2018-19, and he spreads the floor relatively well, despite having a down year at 34.4 percent from beyond the arc last season.
While Turner is a very underwhelming rebounder for his size, he represents some of the interior defense Boston needed outside of Daniel Theis. Throw in a bench shooter like McDermott, and this deal not only aligns with the Celtics’ short term needs, but also their overall timeline, since Turner is young and McDermott is still only 28.
Even if this wasn’t a good return for Hayward, what’s the alternative? Signing an injury-prone wing in his 30s to the kind of four-year, $100 million deal the Pacers are willing to offer?
Indiana remains Gordon Hayward’s preferred destination, league sources say, which requires a sign-and-trade with the Celtics to net the former Butler star a deal estimated in the four-year, $100 million range
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 21, 2020
Sure, this could be a negotiating tactic, but it’s almost too outlandish to be believable. There’s a difference between playing hardball and living in fantasy land. Ainge is never going to get Oladipo for a 30-year-old who can opt out and comes with a troubling injury history attached. He’s also not going to get one of the best scorers in the NBA bubble in Warren for a guy fitting that description.
If the Pacers are truly offering Turner and McDermott for Hayward, the Celtics should take that offer and run with it.