98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Another new team has entered the mix for the Celtics’ Gordon Hayward, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
“I’d keep my eye on Charlotte,” Lowe revealed on Wednesday’s pre-draft edition of ESPN’S The Jump. “[Charlotte has] got a lot of balls in the air and would like a talent upgrade for next year, particularly on the wing like Gordon Hayward plays. So I think there’s a number of teams and there’s certainly going to be wild card teams.”
While it may seem like an off-the-board team to watch, it is worth mentioning that the Hornets have been mentioned as a team with a potential interest in the Rockets’ Russell Westbrook, too, leading you to believe that they do want to do want to make a move to put themselves back into possible playoff relevancy in the Eastern Conference.
They also enter tonight’s 2020 NBA Draft with the No. 3 overall pick in their possession, and with the Celtics (who own three first-round picks) doing what they can to make a serious push to move up the draft board.
The Hornets join a mix that already features both the Hawks and Pacers, with Lowe noting those clubs as the other two teams to watch as Hayward and the Celtics continue to look at their options ahead of their Tuesday-turned-Thursday deadline.
“For a possible trade, I think I would keep my eye on Indiana,” Lowe said. “There’s been buzz about the Pacers and Gordon Hayward for a while now and for free agency, I mean Atlanta’s been rumored. I’m not sure if that’s a stalking horse.
“There will be a lot of interest, but those are the main teams I’m looking at.”
The 30-year-old Hayward, who holds a $34.2 million option for 2020-21, averaged 17.5 points and a career-high 6.7 rebounds per game, and also shot a career-high 50 percent from the field in 52 games for the Celtics this past season.