By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Trade rumors are popping up around the Boston Celtics and Gordon Hayward. They may have found themselves a partner for a big, potentially DNA-shifting offseason deal.
According to Ian Begley of SNY, “some within the Pacers organization continue to have interest” in trading for Hayward. The key here is the money, as Hayward is likely to opt in to the final year of his contract with the Celtics for $34.2 million.
In the event of an opt-in, the Celtics are stuck with that cap charge since they’d have to match the money in a trade. But perhaps the Pacers would see added value in acquiring Hayward, an Indianapolis native who was a star college player at Butler.
Myles Turner would make sense for the Celtics in terms of their need for a more dynamic starting center. But at $18 million in 2020-21, Turner is a valuable contract and would need to be attached to more pieces just for the money to line up. Trading Hayward for a package including point guard Malcolm Brogdon ($20.7 million next season) or center Domanatas Sabonis ($19.8 million) wouldn’t necessarily add a legitimate starter or improve their depth to the extent they’d need for a deal like this to be worthwhile.
Other potential chips to come back from the Pacers in a Hayward trade include forward T.J. Warren ($12 million) and guard Jeremy Lamb ($10.5 million). The deal may only be doable, however, if Danny Ainge can convince Pacers president of basketball ops Kevin Pritchard to part with Turner.
It’s likely that trading Hayward to Indiana would require the Celtics to jettison additional pieces off their own roster. Such a trade may grow too unwieldy to materialize. But if the C’s want to transform the mix of their roster, the Pacers make the most sense by far as a trade partner.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at email@example.com.