By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
A report from Yahoo’s Chris Haynes has added one more team to the potential Gordon Hayward sweepstakes.
The Atlanta Hawks are in play in an attempt to acquire Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, league sources tell Yahoo Sports,” Haynes wrote Tuesday night. “A sign-and-trade deal is a possible route, but Atlanta is equipped with the most cap space in the league at around $44 million and can simply sign Hayward to a hefty multi-year deal if he decided to decline his option.”
The Hawks, who were actually mentioned by ESPN’s Bobby Marks as a potential wild card team when discussing Hayward’s plans to copy Al Horford’s 2019 play, are not the first team to express interest in Hayward.
Hayward’s hometown Indiana Pacers have been linked to the 30-year-old forward since the offseason began, with the sides reportedly ‘discussing the framework’ of a trade last week. And as we’ve written about a dozen times now, it almost makes too much sense for there not to be a deal between the Pacers and Celtics centered around Hayward; Boston possesses three first-round picks (and clearly do not want to use all of them) and the Pacers do not own a first-round choice this year, the Pacers have a center the Celts could use (Myles Turner), and moving home for a long-term deal may be what Hayward wants next.
The list surely extends beyond the Pacers, too, going off Mark Murphy’s tweet that “a lot of people want [Hayward].”
But the Hawks are an interesting team to throw into the mix when considering a Ringer report last week that indicated that the Celtics were among those interested in trading up for their No. 6 overall pick in this tomorrow’s draft.
The Celtics and Hayward successfully getting a two-day extension on his opt-in decision certainly helps in that regard, too, with the Celtics able to get some extra time to negotiate a potential extension-and-trade and get the best return possible.
Hayward, who averaged 17.5 points per game to go with a career-high 6.7 rebounds per night and 50 percent shooting, will make $34.2 million in 2020-21 should he opt into the final year of his four-year, max contract with the Celtics.